Give the animals a voice…
I would like everybody reading this to think for a moment how they can help the animals.
What change can we effect on the deeper level… some of these things seem so small, but they can have a major impact.
It’s a war with two zones: source of demand (eg China, Vietnam…)
source of supply (eg Chad, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique…)
Teach the kids to love and respect nature…
Educational outreach programs:
Western TEFL teachers based in Asia and developing world can use English classes (conversation, drama, informal games) as a platform to promote animal rights, and conservation;
Free material is available from IFAW - International Fund for Animal Welfare(www.ifaw.org);
Find mythology, folklore, heroes that the children already relate to and respect, and also are socially acceptable to current regimes, and use these figures to link to current threats;
Any products from the west that are in demand in Asia have the perfect way in… they can include stickers, games to collect that will show the kids what is going on;
Make the kids in the countries of supply proud of their heritage, and show them how it can generate livelihoods – if they can save it, it can save them;
Let kids inspire kids - eco-pals – if a Chinese child has an African child as an eco-pal that loves lions and elephants or lives nearby a reserve (and this community has been included in the socio-economic benefits of ecotourism) – don’t underestimate the influence this can have;
Show businesses the value of saving wildlife
How much money from tourism and tourism spin-offs will be lost if wildlife isn’t there any more;
And what about demanding all businesses have some form of corporate social/environmental responsibility
If anybody can use their business to have a positive impact on a terrible situation… wow! Don’t do business with anybody with the slightest hint of having links to wildlife crimes. Remember networks – the company you are dealing with may be “clean” but who are they dealing with? Can they have any impact in their home country? Be proactive - ask for their corporate environmental responsibility plan before you sign the contract;
The messages we need to get out there:
The Blood Ivory Trade causes immense cruelty and suffering to Africa’s noble elephants, and rhinos.
The Blood Ivory Trade funds insurgents who perpetrate horrific atrocities on communities across central Africa.
Terror funds terror – who knows where these funds end up eventually – it could be in any country.
Elephants are beautiful in their own right and should be respected.
Elephants are a valuable natural resource – ALIVE – for ecotourism.
Elephants are a beautiful part of the human collective psyche and their extinction would be a tragic loss for the natural and human world (which by the way are one).
Share the message so the people can make informed choices on products they buy eg traditional medicines, ivory carvings – ENSURE THEY KNOW THE TRUE COST OF THESE PRODUCTS.