BANGKOK, November 21, 2014 – China’s rich and famous joined wildlife conservationists this week to call on friends and followers to stop buying ivory in order to saveelephants from poachers. The call was made at a well attended Beijing media launch of a new campaign called ‘Give Peace to Elephants’ by the organization IFAW (International Federation for Animal Welfare). Superstar actress Wang Luodan was one of numerous Chinese ‘Key Opinion Leaders’ who lent their voices and faces to 11 new TV and billboard advertisements, which are being featured across Beijing and will soon be spread to other Chinese cities. The advertisements demonstrate the connection between ivory purchases in China and ongoing elephant poaching in Africa. The opinion leaders ask the public to think before buying and to get involved in the campaign to save the elephant. China is currently the world’s largest manufacturer of elephant tusks that are converted into ivory carvings.
Joining IFAW and Wang Luodan were national artist and sculptor Yuan Xikun, business tycoon Wang Shi, pop star Li Yuchun, and TV anchor Zhang Yue. IFAW is a member of the alliance ‘ARREST’ (Asia’s Regional Response to Endangered Species Trafficking), which is coordinated by the counter-trafficking organization, Freeland. ARREST members are supporting law enforcement efforts in the field in Asia and Africa to curb poaching and trafficking of elephants and other endangered species, while developing consumer demand campaigns in key wildlife market countries, including China, Vietnam and the United States. IFAW has been conducting campaigns to protect elephants and other endangered species in China for more than 10 years.