On 20 December 2013, at its 68th session, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) proclaimed 3 March, the day of signature of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), as UN World Wildlife Day to celebrate and raise awareness of the world’s wild animals and plants.
World Wildlife Day 2017 is being celebrated under the theme “Listen to the Young Voices.” Given that almost one quarter of the world’s population is aged between 10 and 24, vigorous efforts need to be made to encourage young people, as the future leaders and decision makers of the world, to act at both local and global levels to protect endangered wildlife.
The United Nations Postal Administration (UNPA) has issued 12 stamps featuring twelve endangered species of animals and plants found in Africa in honour of CITES CoP17, or the World Wildlife Conference, which held in Johannesburg, South Africa, from 24 September to 5th October 2016.
Africa is home to a rich diversity of wild animals and plants, including some of the world’s most esteemed species. But, the loss of habitat and poaching driven by illicit trafficking has reduced both fascinating species, like elephant and rhino, and lesser known ones, such as pangolins, in recent years.
The stamps were issued to commemorate CITES CoP17 with 12 species of CITES-listed animals and plants found in Africa, they include cape pangolin, lion, mountain gorilla, and white rhinoceros.