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Organised wildlife crime is driving species’ extinction and celebs are helping to stop it

In 2016, UN Environment, with CITES, UNDP and UNODC, launched a global campaign in 8 languages to build a dynamic force to tackle  the illegal trade in wildlife

The loss of space, climate change and an insatiable demand for wildlife products, increasingly fed by transnational organised crime, conspire to drive species to the brink of extinction.

The campaign used the insight that people protect what they love, and most often, we love what we know. Global news stories about the legal killing of Cecil the lion and the illegal killing of Satao the elephant, highlighted the fact that though lions, elephants and myriad other species are poached or illegally trafficked for their parts, or as live animals every day in the thousands, those with names that get our attention.

To make wildlife crime relevant to the masses #WildforLife – Wildlife Crime Just Got Personal-was born.

It’s aim — to mobilize the public to inform governments that these endangered species have our attention and our protection.

Its message underscores that greed, fashion, indifference, investment, corruption, medicinal use or cultural belief should not result in threats to any species.

Since it’s launch, #WildforLife has championed 16 species, reached 1.5 billion people and mobilized millions to make commitments and take action to end the illegal trade in wildlife and forest products.

#WildforLife has been recognized for:

Top 10 Most Influential Advocacy Campaigns in China – 2016

Webby – People’s Voice Best Green Website- 2017

Hermes Creatives Awards: Communication, Website & Interactive Capabilities – 2017

Accolade Award of Excellence – 2018

Most critically, many of the species in the campaign have maintained or received greater protection from CITES and governments, including pangolins, helmeted hornbills, rosewood, elephants, rhinos and snow leopards; and bans on illegal products, including ivory and rhino horn, are being upheld and expanded across the world.

About World Wildlife Day 2019

For World Wildlife Day 2019, Life Under Water, the campaign will introduce 6 new marine species and celebrity champions. Go to to meet them all!

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