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People around the world celebrated first wildlife day

From Geneva to Tokyo and New York to Beijing, people around the world celebrated the first World Wildlife Day on 3 March.

At the Palais des Nations in Geneva, the photo exhibition "Wild and Precious” opened in the presence of HE Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations and HE John W. Ashe, President of the General Assembly.

The exhibition is the first-ever collaborative awareness initiative between the CITES Secretariat, UNEP and the GoodPlanet Foundation – a French NGO founded by photographer, Yann Arthus-Bertrand. The exhibition displays photos of seven of the world's most renowned nature photographers, including Laurent Baheux, Sandra Bartocha, Heidi and Hans-Jurgen Koch, Mark Laita, Brian Skerry and Yann Arthus-Bertrand.

The "Wild and Precious" exhibition aims to celebrate the beauty of wildlife. The goal is for these striking images to encourage and inspire the world's citizens to consume responsibly products that are derived from wild animals and plants and used by people in their daily lives for food, housing, health care, ecotourism, cosmetics or fashion.

CITES Secretary-General, Mr John E. Scanlon, highlighted the importance of the day and stated: “Wildlife is cherished in its own right and for the contribution it makes to our personal well-being - from food to medicine - from culture to recreation. Our wildlife is suffering from illegal trade. Let's do all we can - as citizens and consumers - to bring illegal wildlife trade to an end. In doing so we will secure the future for wild plants and animals as well as for ourselves.”

On 20 December 2013, the UN General Assembly decided to proclaim 3 March, the day of the adoption of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), as World Wildlife Day, to celebrate and raise awareness of the world’s wild fauna and flora.

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