Chinese megastar launches Say No to Ivory film on World Wildlife Day


Save The Elephants

Date Published

Monday 3rd March was the inaugural World Wildlife Day, recently established by the UN General Assembly in order to celebrate our wild world and to urge us to step up the fight against wildlife crime in this precarious era.

That morning at the Kenya Wildlife Service headquarters the audience was packed with Kenyans and young Chinese students. From the grassroots to the highest corridors of power, it seems understanding of the ivory situation is growing.

Wider awareness amongst those who buy ivory about the impact of their purchases is essential. As a front page article in China’s biggest-selling weekend newspaper, Southern Weekend, in November 2013 quoted Iain Douglas-Hamilton, “excess demand for ivory is the root of the elephant poaching crisis. All other efforts to stop the killing of elephants will be useless if the world doesn’t stop buying ivory.”

World political momentum on ivory has built to a new high, with the unprecedented involvement of the highest levels of the US government soon after the 2012 US senate hearings on the issue. This year the Chinese government have shown their commitment by crushing an ivory stockpile and signing up to international declarations on the need to reduce demand for ivory.

We’re still hoping for the ultimate prize: for China to exercise joint leadership with the USA and shut down her domestic ivory markets. Demand for ivory is not the monopoly of any one country but if all of the world’s ivory markets, such as the EU, Thailand and the Philippines, are closed.

Leadership in public opinion matters too. After Yao Ming’s visit to Samburu, last year we shared with Chinese megastar and UNEP Goodwill Ambassador Li Bingbing the wonder of elephants and the horrific impacts of poaching.

To mark World Wildlife Day on 3rd March Chinese megastar and UNEP Goodwill Ambassador Li Bingbing launched a new web documentary of her visit to Kenya. Save the Elephants introduced Bingbing to the wonder of wild elephants and to the horrific impacts of poaching.

The 6-minute version:

The 3-minute version:

Read Li Bingbing’s blogs here: