CAPE TOWN, March 3 (Xinhua) -- South Africa marked the World Wildlife Day on Tuesday, vowing to make concerted efforts to combat wildlife crime.
"Our country, supported by its people, partners and in cooperation with other countries, will continue with these efforts in an integrated manner until this war is won," according to a statement from the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries.
The 3rd of March marks the celebration of the World Wildlife Day 2020 under the theme "Sustaining all life on Earth."
This theme is more relevant to South Africa given its unique status among the most mega diverse countries of the world, the statement said.
It said the rich biodiversity and ecosystems that sustain life come with responsibility for the country to conserve and ensure that their utilization are sustainable.
Celebrations on World Wildlife Day are part of what has become known as the "biodiversity super year", a year key to achieving goals spelt out in the Sustainable Development Agenda, as well as the Convention on Biological Diversity. This is the year dedicated to finalizing a new deal for people and nature post 2020 into 2050.
From South Africa's perspective, climate change, biodiversity loss as well as poverty are the foremost critical trends which negatively affect not only the country, but the region as a whole.
By extension, these are mega-trends which have a global character, since biodiversity loss and climate change have a causal effect on water security, health and threatens food security, the ministry statement said.
South Africa will continue to pursue ecosystem-based adaptation interventions that have been devised to address climate change and desertification as major threats to biodiversity, the statement said.
As part of the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, South Africa supports the development of a "good and fair new deal for nature and people," it said.
Negotiations must respect the balance between maintaining the outstanding elements from the pre-2020 agreement, while also providing ambition for the post-2020 commitments and action, said the statement.
Such a deal should give a balance between conservation, sustainable use and benefit sharing, the statement added.
South Africa's iconic species, unique biomes and landscapes contribute greatly to the economic growth through the tourism industry and other forms of economic activities that are dependent on wildlife.
Tourism, particularly eco-tourism, contributes to job creation and the development of secondary businesses which, in turn, play acritical role in rural areas through many forms of job creation and induced value chains.