Scores of people from different walks of life pledged their support to fight against wildlife-related crimes at an event to mark World Environment Day today.
The event was organised at Connaught Place here by the Environment Ministry, Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB), TRAFFIC-Wildlife Trade News, WWF-India, United Nations Development Programme, ENVIS Centres, PETA and Maashakti.
Celebrated globally on June 5, World Environment Day highlights various conservation and environmental issues, with a new theme every year.
This year's theme -- Go Wild for Life-Zero Tolerance for Illegal Wildlife Trade -- focuses on the need to curb poaching and illegal wildlife trade.
Participants in today's programme were engaged through wildlife films, wildlife quizzes, skits performed by students of law, painting competitions and slogan writing competitions among other activities.
There was also a 'wildlife pledge' taken by the participants that they will say "no" to buying illegal wildlife products in order to support efforts to curb poaching and illegal wildlife trade.
Tilotama Varma, additional director, WCCB said, "World Environment Day has given us an opportunity to highlight the ongoing wildlife crime that has endangered the future of many wildlife species in India."
"While enforcement agencies like ours are continuously strengthening and evolving to control this growing menace it is important that we have support of the end consumers of these wildlife products," she said.
Shekhar Kumar Niraj, Head of TRAFFIC India said that poaching is driven by consumer demand and if the consumer demand is curbed, poaching will stop subsequently.
"Tiger, leopard, pangolin, monitor lizard, black spotted turtles, star tortoises, parakeets and many more species are being devoured by the illegal wildlife trade markets to the extent that the future of the species appears bleak in the wild.
"Illegal wildlife trade has emerged as one of the most significant threats to the wildlife and engaging public support is crucial to the success of eradicating this epidemic," he said.