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Biodiversity & Environment

WWF Conservation Drive on World Wildlife Day

  • 04 Mar 2021
  • 3 min read

Why in News

Recently, on the occasion of World Wildlife Day (3rd March), the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) called on multiple stakeholders, including the European Union (EU), to save Europe’s last old-growth forests.

  • WWF was established in 1961 and is headquartered at Gland, Switzerland. Its mission is to conserve nature and reduce the most pressing threats to the diversity of life on Earth.

Key Points

  • About:
    • Europe’s Old-Growth Forests (OGF) are primitive forests that are dominated by natural processes. They include virgin, near-virgin, long-untouched forests by humans, eg: Białowieża Forest in Poland.
    • To date, 3,50,000 hectares (ha) of old-growth and virgin forests had been identified in Central and Southeastern Europe. Of these, only 2,80,000 ha were legally protected.
  • Location:
    • The largest areas of surviving OGF and forest habitats in Europe (outside of Russia) were found primarily in Romania, Ukraine, Slovakia and Bulgaria.
  • Ecological Importance:
    • They were home to Europe’s largest surviving large carnivore populations, as well as thousands of other species of flora and fauna.
    • These forests rendered important ecosystem services such as filtering and storing freshwater to regulating the climate and were thus essential to people and to the economy.
  • Threats:
    • Increasing pressure on forests from both unsustainable legal and illegal logging, as well as the impacts of climate change.
    • The fragmentation and destruction of forest habitats meant that both animals and disease vectors were inadvertently coming into more frequent contact and conflict with humans.
  • Steps that can be Taken:
    • Developing and promoting sustainable compensation mechanisms.
    • Developing forest-based local green business and investment schemes to support sustainable development of such forests.

World Wildlife Day

Source: DTE

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