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IFAW, the International Fund for Animal Welfare, is hosting a 2019 global art contest in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in celebration of World Wildlife Day (WWD) 2019. The UN World Wildlife Day is recognized annually on March 3rd to celebrate and raise awareness of the world's wild animals and plants. Focusing on marine species for the first time with the theme of Life below water: for people and planet, the 2019 contest is in close alignment with UN Sustainable Development Goal 14 (Life below water), and presents an opportunity to encourage youth engagement while highlighting marine species that will be discussed at the upcoming global CITES meeting in May 2019.
The art contest itself engages school-aged children and aims to build a sense of connection between youth and the marine world, giving them a chance to highlight the critical importance of marine wildlife to our everyday lives. As children have an affinity for both animals as well as art, the contest encourages this fundamental form of expression which gives them a voice while building an even stronger sense of connection with the natural world.
The first day to submit entries is Wednesday, January 16th and participants can submit electronically through IFAW's website through January 31st. Twelve semi-finalists will be chosen and the winning entry will be decided by a panel of expert judges by February 11th. The grand prize winner will be announced at the WWD ceremony held at the UN Headquarters in New York City on March 1st, where they will have the opportunity to attend in person as a guest of honor.
According to Kelly Johnston, Program Officer of IFAW, "We are excited by the global collaboration around this critical theme and the opportunity to inspire youth of all ages through the 2019 art contest. Through increasing awareness about the threats faced by wildlife across the globe in a means that offers creativity and expression, we are hopeful that the global youth community will further come together to share its sense of connection with the natural world."
As UNDP Head of Biodiversity and Ecosystems, Midori Paxton, notes: "Over three billion people depend on marine and coastal biodiversity for their livelihoods; oceans help to mitigate the impact of climate change. If we are to ensure that ocean ecosystems are sustainably managed for current and future generations, a comprehensive global response is needed which includes engaging youth on issues related to the health of the marine ecosystem."
World Wildlife Day was established in 2013 in the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), marking the day of signature of the CITES. Since that time it has become the most important global annual event specifically dedicated to wildlife.
For additional details on contest rules and instructions, please contact AAE_US@ifaw.org.
With 183 Parties (182 countries + the European Union), the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) remains one of the world's most powerful tools for wildlife conservation through the regulation of trade. Thousands of species are internationally traded and used by people in their daily lives for food, health care, housing, tourist souvenirs, cosmetics or fashion. CITES regulates international trade in over 36,000 species of plants and animals, including their products and derivatives, to ensure their survival in the wild with benefits for the livelihoods of local people and the global environment. The CITES permit system seeks to ensure that international trade in listed species is sustainable, legal and traceable. CITES was signed in Washington D.C. on 3 March 1973 and entered into force on 1 July 1975.
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