Originally published by Martina Fuchs at Xinhua News Agency on April 28, 2021.

GENEVA, April 28 (Xinhua) — China has been doing a good job in tackling the illegal trade of wildlife, the CEO of WildAid said, while the conservation group will continue to count on Chinese celebrity ambassadors to raise awareness about wildlife crime.

“The last few years, the Chinese government has done a number of things to really upgrade its approach to dealing with wildlife crime,” Peter Knights, CEO of WildAid, told Xinhua in a recent interview on the sidelines of Collision 2021, a virtual global technology conference.

Early last year, China banned the illegal trading of wildlife and eliminated the consumption of wild animals. The country also increased the oversight of illegal wildlife trade via e-commerce platforms.

It also imposed a total ban on ivory trading since 2018, a significant step in the global drive to protect the world’s elephant population.

Knights also praised China’s move to “give greater protection for the pangolin, uplisting the pangolins’ classification. And that’s very much needed because pangolins are threatened all over the world.”

China upgraded the protection of pangolins to the highest level last June as the species has long been under threat in the wild.

WildAid is a non-profit organization with the mission to end the illegal wildlife trade. It primarily works to reduce global consumption of wildlife products such as elephant ivory, rhino horn and shark fin soup.

Headquartered in San Francisco, WildAid’s programs span across Africa and Asia, and persuade consumers not to buy illegal or unsustainable wildlife products, and to make sustainable transportation and food choices to help mitigate climate change.

Despite progresses, the fight against illegal wildlife trade and crime is far from over, Knights stressed.

“We obviously need to do more. Part of it is education, which is what we have been doing to reach out to the public so they understand why it’s important not to consume wildlife, not just for the endangerment of the animals but also for health reasons as well,” he said.

“We need more of that education to go with the law enforcement efforts that are going on,” Knights added.

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About WildAid

WildAid is a non-profit organization with a mission to protect wildlife from illegal trade and other imminent threats. While most wildlife conservation groups focus on protecting animals from poaching, WildAid primarily works to reduce global consumption of wildlife products such as elephant ivory, rhino horn and shark fin soup. With an unrivaled portfolio of celebrity ambassadors and a global network of media partners, WildAid leverages more than $308 million in annual pro-bono media support with a simple message: When the Buying Stops, the Killing Can Too. 

Journalists on deadline may email communications@wildaid.org