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Campaign Art: Be Ivory Free

Roxanne Bauer's picture

People, Spaces, Deliberation bloggers present exceptional campaign art from all over the world. These examples are meant to inspire.

Most of us working at The World Bank Group remember Prince William’s visit last year to discuss corruption and the illegal wildlife trade.  In a speech, he announced the establishment of a royal task force to work with the transportation industry to examine its part in illegal wildlife trade.

Despite a ban on the international trade in ivory, African elephants are still poached in large numbers. Their ivory tusks are often carved into ornaments and jewelry. According to the Wildlife Conservation Society, around 35,000 elephants are killed each year due to poaching, devastating the elephant populations of West and Central Africa.  As recently as the 1930s and 1940s, there were between 3 to 5 million elephants in Africa, but today, there are only about 470,000.

WildAid launched a campaign in 2014 targeting the demand side of the ivory trade, with wildlife ambassadors admonishing that “When the buying stops, the killing can, too.”

Lang Lang, a world-famous Chinese concert pianist who has performed with leading orchestras in Europe, the United States and his native China, joined the campaign in May 2015 to help stop the killing of elephants for the ivory trade.  Lang Lang and WildAid produced the following video featuring a performance of Beethoven’s Sonata “Appasionata” and the work of award-winning photographer Nick Brandt. Brandt is the founder of Big Life Foundation and a frequent contributor to WildAid campaigns.
 
VIDEO: Be Ivory Free



Basketball star Yao Ming signed on last year to produce the documentary Saving Africa’s Giants, which follows him as he visits Africa for the first time to meet wild elephants, local people and the rangers that risk their lives to protect the elephants.  He sees the elephant victims of poaching and their orphans and returns to China to deliver the message back to consumers.

Kenyan-Mexican actress Lupita Nyong’o‚ who won an Oscar for the film 12 Years a Slave‚ has also become a global elephant ambassador WildAid.  She spent time in Amboseli National Park with the Amboseli Trust for Elephants and at The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust’s Nairobi elephant orphanage‚ meeting with local conservationists and filming messages for distribution in Kenya‚ Tanzania‚ South Africa‚ China‚ Hong Kong‚ Thailand and the United States.  “These messages are designed to raise awareness of the elephant-poaching crisis and to reduce the demand for ivory in consuming markets‚” WildAid said.

China, Hong Kong, Thailand and the United States are among the largest markets for the ivory trade, and WildAid is directly targeting demand in those countries. The good news is that ivory can be substituted with ethical, sustainable alternatives, and closing legal loopholes can help solve Africa's poaching crisis.

 

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Video Source: WildAid

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