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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.

Also read: Nakumatt manager shoots dead colleague in Nairobi offices

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 consumption.

"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.


- Xinhua


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