World Wildlife Day 2019
Celebration in Geneva

1 March 2019 | 9:30-12:30
Palais des Nations, Room XIV (Cinema Room) Acces through doors XV and XVII

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.


Background on World Wildlife Day

On 20 December 2013, at its 68th session, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) proclaimed 3 March, the day of signature of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), as UN World Wildlife Day to celebrate and raise awareness of the world’s wild animals and plants. The UNGA resolution also designated the CITES Secretariat as the facilitator for the global observance of this special day for wildlife on the UN calendar. World Wildlife Day has now become the most important global annual event dedicated to wildlife.

2019 Edition & Celebration in Geneva

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.

A celebration hightlighting the contributions of the international community in Geneva to ensure sustainable use of marine species took place at Palais des Nations on Friday 1 March 2019.

This event was co-organized by CITES, UNCTAD, UNECE and UNEP, within the framework of the Geneva Environment Network.



(Moderator: Karen Gaynor, CITES Secretariat)

Opening remarks 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
Mere Falemaka, Permanent Representative of the Pacific Islands Forum to WTO

09:45– 11:30
Moderated dialogue on value of marine species and the importance of or ways to ensure sustainable use

  • Panel discussion 1: Coordination with UN organizations
    Tom De Meulenaer, Chief, Scientific Services, CITES Secretariat
    David Jose Vivas Eugui, Legal Officer, UNCTAD
    Maria Ceccarelli, Chief, Trade facilitation section, UNECE
    Aik Hoe Lim,  Director, Trade and Environment, World Trade Organization

    Q&A session

  • Panel discussion 2: Role of IGOs, NGOs and private sector

    Javier Garat, President of Europêche
    Paulus Tak, Senior Officer, Government Relations, the Pew Charitable Trusts
    James Nikitine, Manaia productions / IUCN

    Q&A session

Film screening
Screening of “Jago: A Life Underwater”, film from the finalists of World Wildlife Day 2019 Living Oceans Film Showcase


The event was live on facebook.