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'Saving Africa's Giants with Yao Ming' Nominated for an Emmy Award

We're thrilled to announce that Saving Africa's Giants with Yao Ming has been nominated for a News & Documentary Emmy Award!

This one-hour special that premiered in November on Animal Planet was nominated for Outstanding Nature Programming alongside PBS — for Ireland's Wild River, Snow Monkeys and Touching the Wild — and National Geographic Wild, for Wild Hawaii. WildAid CEO Peter Knights and Animal Planet's Erin Wanner share executive producer credits on the film. 

Yao Ming has been one of WildAid's most influential ambassadors for nearly a decade. In Saving Africa's Giants, WildAid and Yao joined forces and traveled to Africa to educate consumers about the perilous state of rhinos and elephants. The film is narrated by Edward Norton and features the work of WildAid, African Wildlife Foundation, Save the Elephants, Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Daphne Sheldrick and The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, Dr. Will Fowlds, Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, Tusk Trust, Kenya Wildlife Service and South African National Parks.

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Hong Kong: World’s Ivory Sales Capital

Hong Kong's ivory market is booming thanks to an influx of tourists seeking luxury items — and that's impeding international efforts to end Africa’s elephant poaching crisis, according to a new report released Wednesday by Save the Elephants.

A survey of 72 Hong Kong retail outlets found nearly 31,000 ivory items displayed for sale, with jewelry the most popular item followed by figurines. Vendors estimated that 90% of customers were tourists from mainland China. 

“No other city surveyed has so many pieces of ivory on sale as Hong Kong,” report co-author Esmond Martin said in a statement. “With higher taxes on the mainland, Hong Kong has become a cheaper place to buy ivory. With 40 million people crossing the border between the territories every year and controls lax, there’s little chance of their getting caught.”

Licensed vendors can legally sell ivory products obtained prior to 1990 when an international ban on ivory imports went into effect. But the city's licensing system has been roundly condemned as ineffective, allowing for the sale of illegal ivory from recently poached elephants.  

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In Hong Kong, a Student-Led Rallying Cry: Say No to Ivory

With three-quarters of Hong Kong citizens in support of a commercial ivory sales ban, schoolchildren have played a leading role in confronting one of the world’s largest ivory markets.

This past Saturday, 20 children from ESF Clearwater Bay School in Sai Kung District chanted the slogan “Say No to Ivory!” as they delivered to the Hong Kong government’s Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) a giant elephant collage made up of 120 individually hand-written messages, urging the government to ban ivory sales. 

The children, along with their teachers and parents, made up a boisterous crowd of around 50 people in the ground floor lobby of AFCD’s headquarters. 

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Hong Kong Lawmaker Pushes for Ivory Ban

Photo: Hong Kong legislative councillor Dr. Elizabeth Quat, © Alex Hofford/WildAid

Movement is afoot to crack down on one of the world’s largest illegal ivory markets that’s fueling the rampant slaughter of African elephants.  

Brunei Institutes Asia’s First Nationwide Shark Fin Ban

WildAid urges others in the region to follow as traders report declining demand

 

Yao Ming Heads to Africa to Document Rhino and Elephant Poaching Crisis

Former NBA star and WildAid Ambassador, Yao Ming

Former NBA star and WildAid Ambassador, Yao Ming, heads to Africa to document the poaching crisis facing rhinos and elephants, as a result of Asian demand for rhino horn and ivory.  

Check out Yao's blog to follow his journey.

Open Letter to Wall Street Journal

An open letter to Wall Street Journal writer Shibani Mahtani, in response to her article, "Experts Swim Against Shark Fin Debate"

Dear Shibani:

Your title for this piece should have been "Two Shark Fin Trade Lobbyists Swim Against the Current.”

Chinese Business Tycoons Join Fight to Save Sharks

Today, Mr. Huang Nubo and Ms. Wei Xue joined WildAid to premiere China’s first Public Service Announcement in which leading CEOs call on the business community to “say no to shark fin soup.”

The PSA features Mr. Huang Nubo (Chairman, Beijing Zhongkun Investment Group), Mr. Feng Lun (Chairman, Beijing Vantone Real Estate), Mr. Li Dongsheng (Chairman, TCL Corporation), Mr. Hu Baosen (Chairman, Jianye Real Estate Development), and Ms. Wei Xue (Founder, PRAP China).

WildAid Thanks Steve Trent

WildAid wants to thank Steve Trent for his tremendous work as he leaves his executive role managing the China program after 12 years with WildAid. As one of four original WildAid founders in 2000, Steve took the Communications Program to China and with great patience and persistence, built up a media distribution network which is currently valued at over $200 million.

China’s State Council Makes Historic Decision to Protect Sharks

In China, the Government Offices Administration of the State Council has reportedly agreed to stop serving shark fin soup at official banquets, to take effect in the next 1-3 years. The administration was responding to a proposal submitted by 30 officials from the National People’s Congress, spearheaded by delegate Ding Liguo, who announced the news on his microblog on Friday, according to Global Times.

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