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Wildlife conservation is vital for us all

Today, on World Wildlife Day, WWF highlights the importance of preserving flora and fauna for the sake of the entire planet

ZAGREB – While the world is in a global crisis, and our thoughts are with the victims, WWF emphasizes how important it is to preserve the world we’re living in, and all its parts, including the natural world, without which, even the people couldn’t survive.

Forests, seas, oceans, rivers and fields give us the oxygen we breathe, the food we eat and the water we need to survive. Without nature, we wouldn’t be able to live the way we do today. Natural capital, which is a common name for all the benefits and resources that nature provides, annually amounts to over 110 billion euros on a global scale and is crucial for the development of the economy and society.

“To preserve the natural world, we need to save plant and animal species that are in greater and greater danger. The latest WWF Living Planet Report shows that in the last 50 years the populations of mammals, birds, fish, amphibians and reptiles have reduced by 68%. Our region is extremely wealthy in wildlife that helps maintain balance in the ecosystem. Even just one species going extinct means grave danger for many others,” says Snježana-Malić Limari from WWF Adria.

One of the biggest threats to wildlife are crimes against nature which include poaching, killing protected species, illegal trade and trafficking, and illegal capture and possession of wild species. Our region is often the endpoint as well as the area of transit for wildlife trade. Local and foreign species are endangered due to human activities. A recent example in the region is the case of the lion cub in Budva, that was wandering in the forests of Montenegro for days before it was found. Additionally, several months ago, we witnessed the case of illegal transport of a grown tiger on a ferry in Croatia, kept in conditions unacceptable for keeping and transporting wild animals. All of this shows that wildlife crime is more frequent and present around us than we think.

Crimes against nature and the environment are the fourth most lucrative activity of organized crime in the world, after human, drugs and weapon trafficking. Through the project Successful wildlife crime prosecution in Europe (LIFE SWiPE), WWF aims to discourage, and ultimately reduce the number of wildlife crimes, through better cooperation of relevant institutions and enforcement of national and international environmental regulations. Successfully reducing wildlife crime will contribute to the recovery of endangered European species and a healthier ecosystem.

Together we can turn this negative trend around and preserve the bounty and beauty of the world around us. In times of division and conflict, we cannot forget that we all share this planet and its blessings and we have to take care of it – together possible.
Giant panda

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