A hard-hitting campaign to combat illegal trafficking of wildlife has been launched at one of South Africa's busiest airports. Starting this week passengers arriving and departing from Lanseria International Airport, will be asked to Think Twice about Wildlife Souvenirs by an advertising campaign launched by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT).
The initiative has been supported by Lanseria International Airport, which has provided branding exposure throughout the airport precinct for the IFAW and EWT Think Twice campaign.
"Every year millions of wild animals and rare flora are killed or poached to become trinkets or souvenirs," said Jason Bell, director IFAW southern Africa.
"And it is a particular problem in Africa where up to 50,000 elephants a year are killed for their ivory; and in South Africa where the poaching of rhino for their horns could literally wipe out the entire species within a few years.
If we don't buy, they don't die
"The Think Twice campaign asks tourists and business travellers not to buy souvenirs made from animal parts, many of which are illegal and come from endangered species. The mantra to remember when buying souvenirs should be: 'If we don't buy, they don't die'," said Bell.
Adam Pires, manager of the EWT's skills development unit, stated: "Raising awareness is a crucial step in the fight against illegal wildlife trade as we are losing our precious biodiversity at an alarming rate. The advent of new technologies has meant that conservation organisations have had to escalate their activities around awareness building and so the Think Twice campaign is a crucial part of the EWT's strategy to bring an end to this insidious trade. We hope that consumers wake up to the fact that the power to save our wildlife heritage does, in fact, lie in their hands and that this campaign spurs them into making much wiser purchasing decisions in future." More....