In support of an ongoing commitment to save the world’s most endangered species, Discovery Networks Asia-Pacific today announced the launch of an originally created public service announcement. Narrated by actor Edward Norton, the public service announcement will air on Discovery’s channels across Asia Pacific to help raise awareness and stem the illegal trade of endangered species products.
Discovery first revealed this public service announcement at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in September. It was part of a multiplatform campaign to raise awareness and reduce demand for illegally sold animal products. The call is for global communities to be more informed when making purchases. Ignorant buying unknowingly fuels the illegal wildlife trade as the desire to own something rare and unusual – from souvenirs and novelties to trinkets and fashion – has resulted in the poaching, slaughter and decimation of many animal species.
For the airing of the PSA in Africa and Asia Pacific, Discovery is partnering with United Nations (UN) Environment and the Wild for Life campaign, which launched in May 2016. #WildforLife aims to mobilise millions of people to participate in the process of making commitments and taking action against illegal wildlife trade.
Erik Solheim, Head of UN Environment, said, “As we are all well aware, the illegal trade in wildlife is pushing species to the brink of extinction. We urgently need to change attitudes and mobilise people to stop this tragedy. But crucially, we also need the next generation to be more responsible consumers and caring custodians. To accomplish this, we need to join forces across public and private sectors. That's why we’re so pleased to work with Discovery Communications in efforts to halt the illegal trade in wildlife. The trade is accelerating the destruction of our natural world, but we can stop it together.”
Arthur Bastings, President and Managing Director, Discovery Networks Asia-Pacific, said, “Discovery is a purpose-driven company and we have been at the forefront of efforts to raise awareness of species conservation for over 30 years. Protecting and showcasing the beauty that our planet has to offer is deeply important to us and we are thrilled to be able to share this important message with audiences in Asia. The support of our partners in this effort has been invaluable and we are hopeful that together we can help put an end to this global issue.”
Ted Osius, the U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam, said, “The Hanoi Conference on Illegal Wildlife Trade is an opportunity for the global community to work together to implement solutions to address wildlife trafficking. By hosting this conference, the Vietnamese Government is engaging world leaders, non-government organisations and the private sector to collectively make a positive difference for the planet.”
According to the Wildlife Conservation Society, wildlife trafficking today is estimated to be the fourth largest illegal trade in the world after drugs, human, and weapons trafficking, worth some US$19 billion annually (excluding fish and timber).
Recently, Discovery launched Project C.A.T., a historic partnership with World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to save one of the world’s most endangered species – the tiger. Discovery is funding and helping to conserve nearly one million acres of protected habitat on the India-Bhutan border to protect and increase the wild tiger population. Given ample space, prey and protection from poaching, conservationists are optimistic that tiger populations can rebound. In the last century, the wild tiger population has dropped an astonishing 96% to less than 4,000. Project C.A.T. aims to double this population by the year 2022.