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Backed by Stars, Unprecedented UN Campaign Seeks to Mobilize Millions to End Illegal Trade in Wildlife

Backed by Stars, Unprecedented UN Campaign Seeks to Mobilize Millions to End Illegal Trade in Wildlife
Highlights

UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner: “For too long, the illegal trade in wildlife has devastated not only species but lives, livelihoods and

UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner: “For too long, the illegal trade in wildlife has devastated not only species but lives, livelihoods and communities across the planet. We will need collective action, from grassroots to governments, to end this threat to our irreplaceable natural treasures. Through this campaign, the United Nations is calling on the world to drive the illegal trade to extinction before that fate befalls wildlife.”

UNDP Administrator Helen Clark: “The illegal trade in wildlife is devastating iconic species. This vile trade threatens human security, community well-being, economic development, and environmental integrity. UNDP and its partners are committed to stopping wildlife poaching and trafficking.”

Yuri Fedotov, UNODC Executive Director: “This is our shared planet. Stopping wildlife and forest crime is our shared responsibility.”

John E. Scanlon, CITES Secretary General: “People are the cause of this serious threat to wildlife and people must be the solution, which requires us to tackle human greed, ignorance and indifference. We must go hard on enforcement to confront the greed and reach out to hearts and minds to overcome ignorance and indifference. This UN and CITES campaign can help inspire the masses to protect our most precious and vulnerable wildlife from being driven to extinction through illicit trade.”

Lebanese singer RaghebAlama: “Today, I am giving my name to change the game for helmeted hornbills. You may not have heard of these magnificent birds, but they are being poached in their thousands. Their casques fetch a higher price than ivory, ending up as ornaments and jewelry instead of remaining where they belong. I will do everything I can to ensure these birds are protected. You can too.”

Chinese Actress Li Bingbing: “Many do not realize that ivory comes from dead elephants and that by buying ivory, they may be playing a role in the illegal wildlife trade, supporting criminal groups and pushing elephants closer to extinction. This new campaign will not allow ignorance, indifference, fashion or status to serve as an excuse. Today, I am giving my name to change the game for elephants.”

Brazilian model and UNEP Goodwill Ambassador Gisele Bündchen: “It saddens me that in the 21st century, with all our knowledge and power, we are still hearing stories of wildlife facing the possibility of extinction at the hands of man. It is clear to me that a radical global shift needs to occur and it will take everyone accepting the challenge to support the UNEP Wild for Life campaign. Knowledge is power and now is the time to set our minds to ending all illegal wildlife trade before the choice is no longer in our hands. Today, I am giving my name to change the game for sea turtles.”

Bollywood actress (India) Jacqueline Fernandez: “Few who see a tiger, elephant or rhino in the wild forget the experience. People can be equally inspired by seeing them on television or in films, and these moments make us want to explore our nature’s wonders and can turn us into conservationists, scientists and people who care about the natural world around us. Kids’ rooms all across the globe are filled with stuffed likenesses of these iconic species. Wouldn’t it be tragic to know they disappeared in our lifetime? The illegal trade in wildlife is threatening these majestic beasts, and we have to join forces to stop it. Today, I am giving my name to change the game for tigers. Join me and do something amazing.”

Indonesian-Australian model, Great Apes Survival Partnership Ambassador, NadyaHutagalung: “Today, I am giving my name to change the game for orangutans. These smart, loving creatures are our closest living relatives, yet as their forest homes are being hacked away for development and palm oil plantations, they become victims of the illegal trade—for their parts and for a live trade that kidnaps them for zoos and as pets for wealthy individuals. Give your name and help me stop this shameful trade.”

Vietnamese pop singer Thu Minh: “Rhinos may not be pretty, but they are one of the planet's oldest living creatures and symbolize the power and magic of nature. Many rhino species have disappeared forever from their habitats and the rest are facing extinction if current poaching rates continue. The Javan rhino which once ranged in Vietnam went extinct in 2011! They are senselessly killed simply because their horns are worth money to criminal syndicates, who sell them for non-existent medicinal benefits and other unnecessary uses like hangover cures. Shockingly, people are now also buying horn as investments, banking on extinction. Demand is at the heart of this illegal trade and we have to stop it. Today, I am giving my name to change the game for rhinos. Give your name too and do what you can within your own circles to ensure this species is here for future generations to marvel over.”

US actress Nikki Reed: “When people think of the illegal trade in wildlife, their minds turn to elephants and rhinos. But forests are also being stripped, threatening the health of our planet, livelihoods for the local people who live there and thousands of species that depend on them, like birds, pangolins, apes and forest elephants, which have declined by over 66 per cent in the last decade. Today, I am giving my name to change the game for rosewood to preserve our forests and enable a healthy planet and therefore healthy, happy people.”

Ivorian footballer Yaya Touré: “On the pitch, I see how important it is to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with my teammates to take on the challenge and secure victory. The team we need to form to beat the illegal trade in wildlife is not just eleven – it is seven billion. And I hope to use my sphere of influence to ignite this movement. Today, I am giving my name to change the game for elephants. Give yours too and join my team. This is a challenge we can’t afford to lose.”

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