Elephant walking with mountain in background
Photo credit: Volodymyr Burdiak/Shutterstock

On March 3rd, there are so many ways to celebrate World Wildlife Day 2016. One can go to the zoo and take pictures with elephants, organize a wildlife photo exhibition, participate in a street parade, host an art contest, organize a panel discussion or a film screening, and maybe even release captive animals into the wild. If you are up for a fun activity of this sort, we recommend you to take a look at this map of global #WorldWildlifeDay events. But before heading out on your adventures, check out GEF’s wildlife protection must-read list. 

7 ingenious solutions to tackling wildlife crime
Wildlife crime comes in all forms and people break wildlife laws for a variety of reasons. From illicit exploitation of natural resources, such as the poaching of an elephant or unauthorized logging of trees, to the concealment and laundering of the financial benefits from these crimes, wildlife crimes are no different than any other types of crime. In its work to protect threatened species from extinction, Save our Species (SOS) covers a wide-range of approaches and offers 7 ingenious solutions to tackling wildlife crime. Read more.

On GEF’s role in combating poaching and illegal wildlife trade
Global illegal wildlife trade has taken a major toll on the world’s threatened species. In Africa, an elephant is killed every 15 minutes. The African Monitoring the Illegal Killing of Elephants program estimates over 17,000 elephants were killed illegally in 2011. The Western black rhino became extinct in 2011 as rhino poaching has increased by 7700% since 2008. According to a tweet by United for Wildlife, there were more football players in the World Cup than Sumatran and Javan Rhinos in existence. Since 1991, the GEF has directly contributed over $78 million and leveraged over $206 million in co-financing in the funding of 28 projects promoting wildlife conservation, combating poaching and illegal wildlife trade, and preventing the extinction of threatened species. Read more.

Why micro-chipping white rhinos in Uganda?
Uganda’s last rhino was killed in 1983, rendering the species as extinct. In 1997, following a period of political stability, a group of Uganda conservationists formed Rhino Fund Uganda (RFU) as a vehicle to bring back rhinos to the country. RFU, with support from the UNDP GEF Small Grants Programme and numerous partner organizations, established Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary (ZRS) a 7,000 hectares breeding sanctuary for Rhinos which is in central Uganda. Today, the 15 Rhinos in ZRS represent the only wild population of the species in Uganda. Read more.

GEF boosts the fight against illegal wildlife trade with a new $90 million program
In June 2015, the GEF launched its flagship “Global Partnership on Wildlife Conservation and Crime Prevention for Sustainable Development” program – one of the biggest programs in the world to combat illegal wildlife trades. A $90 million grant from the GEF is helping to mobilize an additional $513 million from a wide range of partners, including the Governments of participating countries, GEF Agencies, bilateral and multilateral donors, foundations, the private sector and civil society. The program aims at stopping poaching, trafficking and demand for wildlife and wildlife products illegally traded between Africa and Asia. It is a comprehensive effort to protect threatened species and their habitats, with a suite of investments to address the problems and look for short and long term solutions in the source, transit and demand countries. Read more.

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