On November 14th, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will crush six tons of ivory, seized over the last 25 years. The decision by the Obama administration to publicly destroy stocks is applauded by WildAid, the only organization to solely focus on reducing the demand for wildlife products.
“This act will help raise awareness globally of the renewed threat to African elephants from trade in ivory,” said Peter Knights, Executive Director of WildAid. “The poaching crisis that funds terrorism and civil wars will only end if the demand for ivory is reduced.” Knights is appearing on the expert panel at the ivory crush in Denver, Colorado this week.
“Our shark fin campaign in China, led by Yao Ming, has proven that demand can be reduced through increased awareness and government action,” said Knights. “This crush is an important step that must be followed by increased awareness of the poaching crisis in consuming countries and increased government action to end legal trade which enables laundering of poached ivory.”
WildAid works with dozens of Asian and Western celebrities and business leaders, including Jackie Chan, Edward Norton, and Sir Richard Branson, distributing messages with Hollywood production values reaching hundreds of millions of people a week in China alone through donated media space. For more information: www.wildaid.org.
· WildAid, Save the Elephants, and Yao Ming launched the “Say No To Ivory” campaign in Beijing.
o 3 public service messages are released throughout China featuring Yao Ming’s first trip to Africa to see the effects of poaching including “What I Found”, “Orphans”, and “Education”. 1 million Chinese on Sina Weibo previously read and followed Yao Ming’s blog detailing his Africa trip.
o The “Ivory Demand in China” report is issued. Findings include significant lack of awareness in China regarding poaching and a strong willingness to ban ivory sales.
· China’s leading actress, Li Bing Bing, joins the campaign. First public service message “War” is released in China.
· Campaign message aired in United States during NBA playoffs featuring Tyson Chandler through partnership with NBA Cares.
· Public service message filmed and aired by WildAid China featuring prominent CEOs (link currently unavailable).
· Public service message featuring Chinese actor/director Jiang Wen launched in China.
· Post-production began on second Li Bing Bing message, “Beauty” (release date TBD).
· Filmed public service message in New York City featuring Edward Norton (release date TBD).
· Filmed public service message in London featuring The Duke of Cambridge, David Beckham, and Yao Ming (release date TBD).
· Yao Ming returns to Kenya with WildAid for secondary filming of a documentary called “The End of the Wild” (release date TBD). Blog re-launches to wide support in Sina Weibo.
· “Africa’s Pandas” and “Blood Ivory” campaigns launched in China featuring artwork from activist Asher Jay.
· African Wildlife Foundation partners on campaign.
· Li Bing Bing billboard to appear on bus shelters in China.
· Elephant infographic video to launch online.
For footage please contact: Brian Adams, WildAid US Communications Director
c: 415.834.3174, e: firstname.lastname@example.org
WildAid is a non-profit organization with a mission to end the illegal wildlife trade in our lifetimes. 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 nearly $230 million in annual pro-bono media support with a simple message: When the Buying Stops, the Killing Can Too.
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