UN celebrates marine species for World Wildlife Day with moving pictures

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JOINT PRESS RELEASE

UN celebrates marine species for World Wildlife Day with moving pictures

Winners of Living Oceans Showcase announced at UN Headquarters

Geneva/New York, 1 March 2019 – Jackson Hole WILD, the CITES Secretariat and UNDP announced today the winners of the World Wildlife Day 2019 Living Oceans Showcase. Captivating stories about marine species will now hit the big screen and your mobile devices as the world celebrates World Wildlife Day 2019 under the theme “Life below water: for people and planet”.

Ocean and marine wildlife have captured the imagination of humans almost since the beginning of civilization – and the rich bounty the ocean provides has sustained human development throughout the ages. Despite their importance for sustainable development, marine species are facing many threats and need our immediate attention if we want to ensure that they can continue to fulfill their important and multiple roles during our lifetimes and for future generations.

To emphasize the importance of this issue, Jackson Hole Wild, the CITES Secretariat and UNDP have come together once again to organize a film showcase for World Wildlife Day. This year, they put the world’s marine species under the spotlight to highlight the problems we are facing and the ideas we can use to tackle them.

These stories went beyond simply being visually mesmerizing and engaging. They show the challenges facing these iconic species, including destructive fishing practices, climate change   and pollution, and they feature the front-line heroes and the solutions that are necessary if we are going to be able to reduce the threats to the species and the oceans where they live.

The film showcase attracted more than 235 entries, and they were reviewed by 65 preliminary judges to determine the 25 finalists. The short list then was passed on to the final judging panel, which selected the winners from among the 25 finalists.

CITES Secretary-General Ivonne Higuero said: “We are immensely grateful to all the filmmakers for submitting their wonderful works of cinematography. By using the power of media, we can catalyze deeper understanding of the importance of life below water and the chances to ensure the sustainable use of marine species. CITES provides a safety net for our threatened marine life and it has a long history of regulating international trade in marine species to ensure that this trade does not threaten their survival.  On this World Wildlife Day, let’s recognize the positive contributions that life below water makes to our everyday lives and – no matter who we are or where we are – make conscious decisions to ensure that it can continue to do so for generations to come.”

Jackson Hole WILD Executive Director Lisa Samford said: "It is not enough to just care about nature. Our aim is to inspire action necessary to restore and protect the planet's essential resources. These films do precisely that."

Andrew Hudson, Head of UNDP Water and Ocean Governance Programme, said: “Global efforts to increase awareness and catalyze new investments in marine conservation depend on powerful, evidence-based advocacy campaigns. This year’s winners of the Living Oceans Film Showcase demonstrate the power of film to touch our hearts and minds and move us to greater action.”

Winners of the Living Oceans Film Showcase in the 6 categories are:

Ocean Heroes

Mission Blue

A Netflix Original Documentary-Insurgent Media-True Blue Films- Diamond Docs


People and Oceans

Ghost Fleet

Seahorse Productions, Vulcan Productions


Ocean Issues and Solutions

Sonic Sea

Discovery Channel presents a film by the Natural Resources Defense Council and Imaginary Forces in association with the International Fund for Animal Welfare and Diamond Docs


Marine Life

Blue Planet II - One Ocean

BBC Studios Natural History Unit


Ocean Short (Tie - Two Winners)

A Voice Above Nature

Annie Moir in association with the University of the West of England

The Southern Right Whale

Lyra Films


Ocean Micro-Movie

The Deepest Dive in Antarctica Reveals a Sea Floor Teeming With Life

OceanX, BBC Earth


Both winners and finalist films will be subsequently showcased extensively to raise global awareness of the importance of marine species and the critical challenges they face at community screening events presented by partners throughout the world, including free educational screening events for students as well as for local communities around the world to take action to protect and restore our planet’s oceans.

For more information and to arrange interviews, please contact:

CITES Secretariat: Yuan Liu, +41 22 917 8130, [email protected],

Jackson Hole Wild: Dana Grant, (307) 200-3286 ext. 3, [email protected]

About CITES

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.

About UNDP

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) partners with people at all levels of society to help build nations that can withstand crisis, and drive and sustain the kind of growth that improves the quality of life for everyone. On the ground in more than 170 countries and territories, UNDP offers global perspective and local insight to help empower lives and build resilient nations. www.undp.org.

About Jackson Hole WILD

Jackson Hole Wild programs promote public awareness and stewardship of wildlife and wildlife habitat through the innovative use of media. Since 1991, its annual conferences draw together international leaders in science, conservation, broadcasting and media. Kicking off the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival & Conservation Summit (September 21-27), committed ocean advocates will convene to share resources and strategies, address critical challenges and brainstorm innovative approaches for collaboration. They will join 650+ of the world’s most influential filmmakers and commissioners at the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival to celebrate the world’s finest nature programming and explore innovative ways to integrate media centrally into the battle to address critical conservation and environmental challenges.

About the UN World Wildlife Day

On 20 December 2013, the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 3 March as World Wildlife Day to celebrate and raise awareness of the world’s wild fauna and flora. The date is the day of the signature of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in 1973. World Wildlife Day has quickly become the most prominent global annual event dedicated to wildlife. It is an opportunity to celebrate the many beautiful and varied forms of wild fauna and flora and to raise awareness of the various challenges faced by these species. The day also reminds us of the urgent need to step up the fight against wildlife crime, which has wide-ranging economic, environmental and social impacts.