Chinese wildlife ambassadors visit Kenya for elephants protection
10 November 2015, 21:19
Nairobi - A group of Chinese wildlife
ambassadors are visiting Kenya this week as part of the China-Africa Wildlife
Ambassadors (CAWA) initiative which was launched on Monday by the International
Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW).
The delegation of wildlife ambassadors comes from IFAW media
partners including JC Decaux China, iFENG.com, Beijing MTR Corporation,
Shenzhen Press Group, Fulong Media and DEEP magazine.
"I am extremely delighted that the CAWA initiative is
building the bridge between China and African countries to join their efforts
in saving elephants," IFAW's East-Africa Regional Director James Isiche
said in a statement.
"If combating wildlife crime is to succeed, it requires
that wildlife range states, transit and consumer countries all work together to
break every link on the illicit trade chain," he added.
Grace Gabriel, IFAW Asia Regional Director, said African
elephants are facing an unprecedented surviving crisis.
"Ivory trade and consumption is wiping out the largest
and the most ancient species on earth. To reduce demand for ivory, iconic
figures from all sectors of Chinese society are speaking up against ivory trade
and mobilizing the society to stigmatize ivory consumption," Gabriel said.
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The delegation that is on a week-long visit will have
discussions with Kenyan officials from the ministry of environment and natural
resources, tourism and wildlife authorities.
They will also meet with representatives from Chinese
communities in Kenya and also make presentations and participate in a wildlife
conservation forum at the 40th Africa Travel Association Conference this week.
"From ivory destruction to trade bans, China is
determined to contribute to elephant conservation by eliminating demand for
ivory," Gabriel said.
IFAW, which protects elephants in Kenya through habitat
conservation and enhancing anti-poaching and enforcement capacity, said the
in-kind support from these media corporations, valued at tens of millions of
U.S. dollars, enabled its campaign to penetrate 80 percent of urban China in a
short eight-month period.
Maggie Cheng, JC Decaux's Tianjin branch manager, said every
media should assume the mission of delivering truth and advocating for ethical
"As members of the media, we need to not only lead the
public to reject wildlife products such as ivory, but also show them the beauty
of wildlife we need to preserve all together. We need them to understand that wildlife
are worth more alive than dead," said Cheng.
The CAWA initiative seeks to mobilize key opinion leaders,
who are prominent Chinese personalities, to reach out to Chinese diplomatic
missions and business leaders in Africa to change the behaviour of Chinese
communities in Africa and build higher-level political will to condemn all
trade in ivory and rhino horn.