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WildAid's Peter Knights Nominated for 2016 Indianapolis Prize

We’re thrilled to announce that WildAid CEO Peter Knights has been nominated for the 2016 Indianapolis Prize, a biennial award recognizing global leaders at the forefront of animal conservation.

Via IndianapolisPrize.org:

"The 2016 Indianapolis Prize Nominees represent many of the most significant and accomplished wildlife conservationists in the field today," said Michael Crowther, president and CEO of the Indianapolis Zoo, which initiated the Indianapolis Prize as part of its core mission. "They are protecting species and creating successful conservation methods that ensure future generations will live in a flourishing and sustainable world. We applaud their accomplishments and encourage individuals, organizations, companies, and governments to join them in advancing animal conservation."

Internationally renowned professional conservationists and local representatives make up a Nominating Committee and Jury who will select six finalists and determine a winner, respectively. These finalists will then be honored at the next Indianapolis Prize Gala presented by Cummins Inc., to be held Oct. 15, 2016.

The winner of the Prize will receive an unrestricted $250,000 cash award while the five finalists will each receive $10,000.

Previous recipients of the Indianapolis Prize include Iain Douglas-Hamilton of Save the Elephants, George Archibald of the International Crane Foundation and George Schaller of the Wildlife Conservation Society.

Congrats to all fellow nominees! Read the full list of 2016 nominees here

Vietnam's Biggest Pop Stars Come Together for Rhinos

Last week, a who’s who of Vietnamese celebrities and Vietnam Idol alumni appeared on VTV for “The Call of the Wild,” a two-hour special to raise awareness about the fate of Africa's rhinos, relentlessly targeted by poachers for their horns.

The special was aimed at Vietnamese youth, who are highly influential in calling on older generations to reject the consumption of rhino horn, considered by many to be luxury item due to beliefs that when ground into a powder and ingested, it can improve health, cure disease and even prevent hangovers.

This special was part of “Stop Using Rhino Horn,” a three-year campaign launched in 2014 by WildAid and African Wildlife Foundation to educate and persuade the people of Vietnam, one of the world's largest markets for rhino horn. Our goals are to raise awareness of the rhino poaching crisis, to support Vietnamese lawmakers in strengthening enforcement efforts and to measurably reduce consumer demand for rhino horn. 

WildAid Vietnam writes of the VTV special:

We believe that music has the power to guide young people to become ambassadors for nature who will protect rhinos as well as other endangered species, and preserve Vietnam’s natural heritage for future generations.

Through this event, the Stop Using Rhino Horn campaign also hopes to contribute to improving the image of Vietnam in the eyes of international communities, by conveying a positive image of young people in Vietnam taking action for nature conservation and contributing to the country’s sustainable development.

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'Tusimame,' a Call to Action on World Elephant Day

Today is World Elephant Day, a global event dedicated to raising awareness about the crisis these animals face at the hands of poachers and the illegal wildlife trade. 

An estimated 96 elephants die every day for their ivory. That's four elephants every hour.

As WildAid celebrates this annual call to action, we'd like to share a music video project by four talented African artists who are using their celebrity for good: Emmanual Jal, Vanessa Mdee, Juliani and Syssi Managa. 

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Tanzania: Poaching Threatens Tourism Industry Growth

Poaching in Tanzania is threatening to undermine the East African nation’s growing tourism economy, one otherwise poised to add hundreds of thousands of jobs in the coming years. 

Adelham Meru, Tanzania’s Minister of Natural Resources and Tourism, warns that poaching could affect as many as 3.8 million tourism jobs across Africa, including guides, drivers, and hotel and restaurant staff. 

All Africa reports: 

Tanzania, like many African nations, has been hard hit by poaching over the past decade. Last year a survey revealed that the country had lost more than half its elephants, with populations declining from 110,000 in 2009 to fewer than 44,000. Tanzania's iconic giraffes, the country's national symbol, have also suffered, as has much of its other wildlife. 

While poachers are profiting from these beloved species, tourism could suffer. Meru said Tanzania has 700,000 tourism-related jobs and predicts that number could double, but only if "the ongoing rampant killings of wildlife" stops. "If the current situation will remain unattended, these jobs would vanish in air," he said[.]

Leading Voice Against Hong Kong Ivory Trade Visits Africa

Hong Kong lawmaker Elizabeth Quat, a leading voice for dismantling one of the world's biggest commercial ivory markets, is currently in Africa to engage in field studies and talks with officials in Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia. This is Quat’s second visit to Africa in less than a year at the invitation of WildAid and partner conservation groups. On this trip, she recently met with Richard Bonham, head of the conservation group Big Life Foundation founded by photographer Nick Brandt, to discuss the elephant and rhino poaching crisis embroiling the continent.

Upon arriving in Kenya, Quat was informed about the latest brazen poaching incident: On the morning of July 28, a patrol team found the bodies of five poached elephants — a mother and four offspring — in Tsavo West National Park. Two suspects have since been arrested.  

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