UNCTAD and CITES jointly organise World Wildlife Day event – Life Below Water: For People and Planet

01 March 2019
10:00 - 07:00 hrs. Room XIV (Cinema room)
, Switzerland

World Wildlife Day 2019


World Wildlife Day will be celebrated in 2019 under the theme “Life below water: for people and planet", which aligns with goal 14 of UN Sustainable Development Goals.

This is the first World Wildlife Day to focus on life below water. It is a great opportunity to raise awareness about the breathtaking diversity of marine life, the crucial importance of marine species to human development, and how we can make sure it will continue to provide these services for future generations.

You are cordially invited to a celebration which will highlight the contributions of the international community in Geneva to ensure sustainable use of marine species.


Programme Timetable

09:30-9:45 - Welcome and Introduction

  • H.E. Amb. A.L.A. AZEEZ, Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the UN in Geneva

  • Mathias LÖRTSCHER, CITES Animals Committee Chair, Head CITES Management Authority, Switzerland

09:45-11:30 - Dialogue on value of marine species and the importance of or ways to ensure sustainable use

  • The role of governments Coordination between UN organizations & IGOs The role of NGOs and private sector.

11:30-12:30 - Film screening

  • Screening of a selected film from the finalists of World Wildlife Day 2019 Living Oceans Film Showcase.


Goal 14: Life Below Water

Today we are watching the rise of Illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, overfishing of commercial valuable marine species, plastic pollution and variations of seawater temperature and its chemistry just to name a few. Certain shark, ray, fish, conches, and coral species that are commercially valuable have been targeted by irresponsible and unethical harvesting and subsequent trade.

More than 3 billion people depend on fishing for living and yet many ignore its importance for sustainable development and livelihood of coastal communities. Regulating trade “from fish to dish” in relevant seafood and non-edible value chains is therefore one of the most significant responses to the decline in marine wildlife.

The role of CITES and UNCTAD in regulating such trade to secure sustainability and legality in sourcing must be praised and underlined.

UNCTAD is directly contributing to the implementation of SDG 14 by seeking to phase out subsidies that contribute to IUU fishing, overfishing and overcapacity. It is also introducing a system in electronic customs procedures under its ASYCUDA programme to enable countries to comply with national and international regulations under CITES and by enabling sustainable use under a Blue BioTrade approach.

More, specifically, UNCTAD has been supporting, in cooperation with CITES and the Development Bank of Latin America (CAF), the development of value chains for queen conch, harvesting of certain shark species and nature-based tourism (i.e. whale watching) in Latin-American and the Caribbean so that they comply with economic and environmental sustainability criteria under a marine ecosystem approach.

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28 Feb 2019
28 Feb 2019




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Related Site:

Trade and Environment, Climate Change and Sustainable Development Branch

World Wildlife Day 2019 Celebration in Geneva

World Wildlife Day 2019


Mr. David Vivas Eugui David.vivaseugui@un.org