It’s World Wildlife Day on Friday, and African nations join the world with activities planned across the continent and its diverse habitats. This year’s theme for the United Nations event is “Listen to the young voices,” and most of the programs center on the hopes of African youth for a greener, more sustainable future.
That’s the case in Gabon, where the Ecole Ruban Vert in Libreville plans a celebration of the West African nation’s biodiversity. Tropical forests, savannahs and wetlands are home to a breathtaking range of wildlife, from birds and butterflies to dozens of species of orchid.
Botswana, a leader on wildlife protection in sub-Saharan Africa that announced in 2016 it will no longer support the ivory trade, will focus on how to engage youth in the fight against illegal trafficking.
That’s the theme on the island nation of Madagascar, too, where a special documentary screening is planned, and participants will focus on how to protect precious woods, tortoises and critically endangered lemurs.
At the Banda School in Nairobi, children are encouraged to come to school in costumes celebrating their favorite animals – a fun activity, but with the serious intent of exploring threats to wildlife and raising funds for chosen charities. Elsewhere in Kenya, the winners of student essay contests will be revealed, as part of World Wildlife Day activities that include televised youth debates, and poetry and music performances.
In the Sinai Desert, an Egyptian ecotravel business plans a desert trip including a workshop, activities and youth-oriented materials on the importance of the ecosystem.
Activities across the world are listed on a map at the World Wildlife Day website.
Image: Duke Lemur Center, Madagascar