Leading wildlife, environment and development agencies are teaming up for an international film showcase to highlight conservation to reduce risk of unprecedented extinction from human overexploitation.
The Film Showcase will be among global events that will anchor next year’s UN World Wildlife Day (3 March) on the theme Sustaining All Life on Earth. Winners and finalist films in the competition will be shown throughout 2020, which has been dubbed the Biodiversity Super Year around the world.
“This gives us a unique opportunity to raise awareness of the multitude of benefits of wildlife to people, the threats they are facing and the conservation success stories through motion pictures and story-telling,” said CITES (Convention on Illegal Trade in Endangered Wildlife, Flora and Fauna) Secretary-General Ivonne Higuero. “We urgently need to bend the curve of species and biodiversity loss before we reach the tipping points from which we may not recover, with dramatic consequences for all life on the planet.”
Added Susan Gardner of United Nations Environment Program (UNDP): “The science tells us that a million species could go extinct if we don’t change the way we live on the planet. Storytelling reconnects people and nature. We hope this event will build the groundswell of support needed to drive the transformation and courage that our leaders need to demonstrate in 2020 to secure a prosperous future for people and nature,” said.
The Film Showcase will be organised jointly by CITES and the Convention on Biological Diversity, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Jackson Wild. The call for entry will close on 4 January 2020 and finalists will be announced in early February 2020.
Winners will be presented at a high-level event to coincide with the global celebration of UN World Wildlife Day at UN Headquarters in New York on 3 March 2020. During the event, best films will be awarded in categories Science, Innovation and Exploration, Issues and Solutions, People and the Wild, Stories of Hope, Global Voices, Short and Micro.
“Wildlife and biodiversity underpin the well-being, safety, and resilience of all societies. The World Wildlife Day 2020 film showcase will raise awareness of the importance of investing in nature in ways that help accelerate progress across the Sustainable Development Goals,” noted Midori Paxton of UNDP.
Said Lisa Samford, Executive Director of Jackson Wild: ” As growing numbers of species edge toward extinction we must act quickly and decisively. We believe in the power of story to inspire awe at the wonders of our natural world and ignite the critical changes that will be required to restore and protect it.”