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Ideas of Chinese Youth to Feature in Global Wildlife Preservation Ads

A wildlife preservation group will create public service ads to be shown worldwide based on ideas by young people in China.

San Francisco-based WildAid and local partner Tencent, a major Chinese website, ended a six-month solicitation period for ad ideas Thursday.

Nine suggestions from Chinese youth, mostly college students, were chosen from among 2,160 candidates by environment experts, officials and votes from netizens on www.tencent.com.

"It left me a deep impression that so many Chinese people joined the competition with highly innovative ideas," said Steve Trent, president of WildAid, at the award ceremony here Thursday.

"Chinese young people bring deep observation and an innovative approach to ecological protection," said advertising veteran Fan Dongyang, who chaired the competition's jury committee.

Liu Xiaoliang, a winning student who majored in art design at central China's Hebei University, drew an ad featuring a human hand squeezing a shriveled Earth to get a drop of water -- a warning against waste.

Interpol estimates the annual illegal trade in wildlife could run as high as 20 billion U.S. dollars. The trade has drastically reduced many species, some to the brink of extinction.

WildAid works as a non-profit organization with representatives in China, India, the Galapagos Islands, London and Canada.

Chinese celebrities such as movie stars Jackie Chan, Zhang Ziyiand basketball's Yao Ming have joined the WildAid cause, in some cases doing voice-overs for the group's ads.

Zou Xiaomin, manager of Tencent's Beijing branch, said the company launched a charity foundation in 2006 and set up a donations website that has collected more than 25 million yuan (about 3.7 million U.S. dollars).