Jeffrey Epstein, one of the largest funders of scientists around the world and the founder of the Program for Evolutionary Dynamics at Harvard University, has put his support behind WildAid Inc. and China's first real crackdown on ivory poaching. Just last year, the Chinese government destroyed approximately 6 tons of confiscated ivory in the city of Dongguan near Guangzhou. The act represented the largest embargo on the Chinese ivory market. The embargo came on the tails of WildAid Inc.'s consistent efforts to raise awareness in China. And to support them, the Duke of Cambridge and football star, David Beckham among others, appeared in a broadcast message on China's leading television stations.
"It's essential that the Chinese government step in," Jeffrey Epstein remarked, whose foundation supports wildlife and environmental efforts around the world. "Governments must devalue the commodity of ivory. China is ivory's biggest market, so this embargo is pivotal to saving wildlife in Africa." Indeed, the plight of wild life is still dire: approximately 35,000 African elephants die annually due to poaching and the illegal wildlife trade market remains at approximately $10 billion.
Founded by Peter Knights and Steve Trent in San Francisco, WildAid Inc.'s unique mission is to eliminate the demand for the products that motivate the killing of endangered animals. With a network of celebrity ambassadors and media partners around the world, WildAid Inc. produces high-impact campaigns leveraging more than $200 million a year and reaches 1 billion people per week. In 2006 for example, WildAid Inc. spearheaded a very successful multi-media campaign to reduce the demand for shark fin soup in China. Their message is simple: when the buying stops, the killing will too.
Jeffrey Epstein, a well-known science and environmental philanthropist, has actively supported WildAid Inc. over the last few years and continues to be a fervent advocate. His foundation, the Jeffrey Epstein VI Foundation, supports science research as well as wildlife and environmental awareness. In addition to founding the Program for Evolutionary Dynamics at Harvard, Jeffrey Epstein was a former board member of the Mind, Brain and Behavior Committee at Harvard and of Rockefeller University.