Whiskers are also known as vibrissa, from the latin vibrare "to vibrate". Vibrissa are the specialized hairs on mammals and the bristlelike feathers near the mouths of many birds. Their resonant design is symbolic of the energies, good and bad, that are reverberating throughout the natural world. Every living thing is connected and, by birthright, deserves to exist.
The United Nations General Assembly has proclaimed March 3 as World Wildlife Day for the purpose of celebrating plant and animal biodiversity, to recall the interconnectedness of human life and wildlife, and to raise awareness of wildlife crime and increase efforts to end it.
Here is a statement concerning World Wildlife Day by Mr. Achim Steiner, United Nations Under-Secretary-General, Executive Director:
So just how bad is wildlife crime?
Measuring the extent of wildlife crime is very difficult because much of it occurs outside “mainstream” crime. Unlike drug-trafficking, murder, rape or burglaries, which can be documented, wildlife crime often has victims that cannot report the crime. In addition, there are often organized networks for the harvesting, processing, smuggling and trade of wildlife and wildlife products through sophisticated techniques, often with an international reach. Along with crimes against wildlife, many activities also result in fraud, counterfeiting, money-laundering, violence and corruption.
The theft of natural resources causes losses in assets and revenues for many developing countries, which threatens the livelihood of rural communities, compromises food security, and potentially damages whole ecosystems through introduction of non-native species. Smuggling live animals and plants across borders carries with it risks to human health through the spread of disease, including some which are life-threatening such as Ebola. Diseases that spread through food chains can necessitate mass euthanasia of livestock herds.
Wildlife crime is a global issue of such magnitude that The International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime (ICCWC) was formed in 2010 in an effort to better coordinate efforts in the battle against wildlife crime. This consortium brings together The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), Interpol, The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), The World Bank and Worlds Customs Organization. ICCWC’s mission is to usher in a new era where the perpetrators of serious wildlife and forest crime face a formidable and coordinated response.
Many other efforts to combat wildlife crime exist as well. In September, 2013, conservation groups announced a three-year $80 million Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Commitment to Action to bring together NGOs, governments, and concerned citizens to stop the slaughter of Africa’s elephants. World Wildlife Fund has an ongoing campaign to combat the trade in endangered species and other wildlife crimes and produced the following video.
WARNING: CONTAINS GRAPHIC IMAGES AND CONTENT.
MAY NOT BE SUITABLE FOR YOUNG CHILDREN
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