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Xinhua, WildAid to cooperate on raising wildlife preservation

The department of video and audio programs under China's official Xinhua News Agency is to cooperate with the WildAid to create public service ads to promote the preservation of threatened and endangered species.

The two sides signed an agreement Friday, under which the WildAid, a San Francisco-based wildlife preservation group, will fund the production of the advertisements on environmental issues agreed by both sides.

The Xinhua video and audio department will air the ads in its TV programs and broadcast media to be developed, according to the agreement.

Xinhua deputy editor-in-chief Wu Jincai said at the signing ceremony that the two sides could also jointly organize activities or make TV programs featuring relations between mankind and natureto promote environmental awareness.

Steve Trent, president of WildAid, said Xinhua was one of most influential news agencies in the world. WildAid would cooperate with Xinhua to push the preservation of endangered species.

Interpol estimates the annual illegal trade in wildlife could run as high as 20 billion U.S. dollars. The trade has drastically reduced numbers of 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.