Spread the Word
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30,000 elephants killed per year for their ivory
Between 1970 and 1989, African elephant populations were halved as legal “regulated” trade in ivory enabled laundering of illegal ivory from poached elephants. In 1989 the Convention of the International Trade of Flora and Fauna (CITES) abandoned attempts at regulation and passed a ban on international trade in ivory. Though the 1989 ban was initially a great success, cutting ivory prices overnight, reducing poaching and allowing elephant populations to start to recover, the success was short-lived. The growth of newly-affluent markets in Asia, predominantly in China, “one-off” sales of African stockpiles to China and Japan in 2008, in conjunction with the old problems of corruption, poor enforcement of regulations, and a lack of prosecutions allowed illegal markets to flourish, particularly in China.
In 2013, we launched a three-year campaign to reduce elephant ivory demand in China. The kick-off featured new public service messages from longtime WildAid Ambassador Yao Ming and actor/director Jiang Wen that were broadcast thousands of times on nearly two dozen TV channels in the first two months of the campaign.
Moving forward, our goal is to use existing methodology, networks, and contacts from our shark fin campaign to:
In addition to the new TV messages featuring Yao Ming and Jiang Wen we also produced messages with China’s leading actress Li Bing Bing, current and former NBA stars Tyson Chandler, Jeremy Lin, and Dikembe Mutombo, and actor Edward Norton, as well as forming a collaboration between The Duke of Cambridge (Prince William), sports icon David Beckham, and Yao Ming.
We also developed partnerships with Save the Elephants, African Wildlife Foundation, the National Basketball Association, and the Clinton Global Initiative. We continue to liaise with the Chinese State Forestry Administration and are encouraged to see them reach out to all Chinese travelling abroad in a message not to buy ivory via Chinese cell phone providers.
In 2014, we will continue to build momentum by creating more new messages and extensive street-level and social media campaigns. Our continuing partnership with Sina Weibo (e.g. China’s Twitter) will help spread our messages as we create an editorial board of celebrity ambassadors to share facts alongside their personal views online.
The Impact Timeline