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World Environment Day: Let's go wild for life
One of the popular global events in recent years has been celebration of World Environment Day (WED). World Environment Day (WED) is the United Nations' most important day for encouraging worldwide awareness and action for the protection of our environment.

Each WED is organized around a theme that focuses attention on a particularly pressing environmental concern. WED 2016 is themed on the illegal trade in wildlife under the slogan 'Go Wild for Life'. This year's theme is directly connected to the people of Assam.

Since its inception in 1974, World Environment Day has developed into a global platform for raising awareness and taking action on increasingly urgent issues from marine pollution and global warming to sustainable consumption and wildlife crime. Millions of people around the world have been motivated by the 'people's day' for action, and are increasingly weaving their activities into a global movement.

Every year UNEP chooses a host country and a theme. The main focus theme in last few decades can be summarized as follows 

·         1972 – 1982--UN designates June 5 as World Environment Day in 1972; two years later, WED is celebrated for the first time under the slogan "Only One Earth."

·         1983 – 1992--WED's profile grows as it boosts campaigns around global priorities including climate change and sustainable development; official WED celebrations start rotating around the globe

·         1993 – 2002--Nations accounting for nearly one-third of the world's population take turns hosting WED, including China (twice), Russia, Japan and Turkey; WED goes digital.

·         2003 – 2012--People around the world register more than 4,000 WED activities (in 2011) and visit the website more than 4.25 million times (in 2012); the Arab world and the United States host WED for the first time;  WED draws attention to climate change for three consecutive years.

·         2013 till 2016 --WED embraces smaller and less-developed nations while tackling even bigger topics: from sustainable consumption to the illegal trade in wildlife; the annual day of action that began more than 40 years earlier goes viral on social media.

Wildlife crime endangers iconic elephants, rhinos, tigers, gorillas and sea turtles. In 2011, a subspecies of Javan rhino went extinct in Vietnam, while the last western black rhinos vanished from Cameroon the same year. Great apes have disappeared from Gambia, Burkina Faso, Benin and Togo, and other countries could quickly follow. Lesser-known victims include helmeted hornbills and pangolins as well as wild orchids and timbers like Rosewood – flowers and timber are also considered wildlife!

Huge efforts to counter the illicit trade - including stronger policies, awareness campaigns and investments in community conservation and law enforcement - have scored some great successes. However, many species remain at risk and it will take a dedicated and sustained effort by each and every one of us to turn the tide.

This year's theme for WED – Go Wild for Life – encourages us to celebrate all those species under threat and take action of your own to help safeguard them for future generations. We can do many things related to the theme. People of Assam are concerned about the rhinos of the state. Rhino poaching for the horns have got top priority in elections.

It shows how important is Assam's rhino for its people. But in spite of many things last few years have shocked the people of Assam as there were poaching. Like Assam, many other regions are also facing problem with illegal trade related to wildlife. Illegal trade in wildlife is a threat to biodiversity. We need to come together, build a team, plan and execute events and activities.

We need to be vigilant against illegal wildlife trades. Let us discourage people who use any product made of wildlife. Together we can make a difference and let's take action against illegal wildlife trades for preserving biodiversity and protecting the planet (With inputs from UNEP's website).

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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