COP26: One Earth, One Future
On the occasion of World Wildlife Day, the webinar “Women in… the fight against the illegal wildlife trade”, women against the illegal wildlife trade, was held today March 3, 2021. Part of the series Women in … events promoted by British Ambassador Jill Morris. Since her arrival in Rome in 2016, the event puts the spotlight on countries such as Kenya, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Malawi , Uganda, Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Among the many participants, representatives of organizations such as the Gallmann Memorial Foundation , the Jane Goodall Institute , Save the Elephants, the Born Free Foundation , Elephant Protection Initiative, Wildlife Direct , David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation , Tikki joined the conversation and illustrated their work. The Hywood Foundation, International Anti-Poaching Foundation, Akashinga Rangers, Lilongwe Wildlife Trust, Virunga National Park , and the Guardia di Finanza, who specialize in fighting the illicit wildlife trade were also present.
The meeting began with an intervention by Ambassador Morris, followed by that of many exceptional women, among which Kuki Gallmann and Dr. Jane Goodall.
The illegal trade in wildlife (Illegal Wildlife Trade – IWT) is an industry funded by a sophisticated criminal organization and is dangerous and environmentally harmful, worth more than 17 billion pounds a year and threatens both the wildlife and people by undermining development and harming local communities. The networks that support the IWT are often the same ones that operate in money laundering, weapons, drugs and human trafficking, including modern slavery. A phenomenon that is bringing some of the world’s most iconic species to the verge of extinction.
Today’s event follows the British priorities for COP26, the United Nations Climate Conference, which the United Kingdom is preparing to host in Glasgow next November, in partnership with Italy.
‘Adaptation and Resilience‘ and ‘ Nature’ are in fact two of the UK’s five priority campaigns for COP26: the first aims to promote a more intensive program of action, aimed at keeping countries, communities and people safe from the effects of climate change. The priority of ‘Nature’, on the other hand, focuses on conserving the natural resources that create resilience and thrive communities in our society. ‘Nature’ is about our Earth. Adaptation is about our future: “One land, one future” is the theme of this year’s COP26.
Introducing the project, Ambassador Jill Morris said she was “honored that renowned world experts and conservationists on the front lines of the fight against the illegal wildlife trade have agreed to illustrate their work today .” The ambassador then continued: “This event addresses the empowerment of women and the preservation of the environment that surrounds us. There are many women who, with their work and their passion, have sparked the imagination of many generations, bringing the importance of protecting the environment, biodiversity and endangered species into the spotlight. Many have put – and continue to put – their lives at risk to preserve the unique and extraordinary natural habitat that is our planet, urging us to protect it for future generations, before it’s too late .”
Kuki Gallman , a well-known writer and environmentalist, commented: “ Everything is connected. It is crucial that we all take collective responsibility to stop the illegal wildlife trade.” She added, “The environment, if given a chance, can rejuvenate and recover. It is extremely important that we all feel this way. We are responsible for stopping crimes against nature”.
In a video message, Dr. Jane Goodall, speaking about Nature and Climate and its relationship with human beings and the environment around them, stressed that “only if we understand, we care, and only if we care, can we help. And only if we help, everyone will be saved“, concluding that “the greatest danger to our future is apathy.”
Will Travers president of the Born Free Foundation therefore concluded saying, “for too long we have considered the natural world as an unlimited resource that we can plunder at will. It’s time for a reset. From now on we must protect and invest in nature – because – our life and all life on Earth depends on it.”