This week Helping Hand features WildAid, a global nonprofit focused on ending the wildlife trade through behavior change campaigns, many in Asia, using regional celebrities in public service messaging campaigns, with people like basketball star Yao Ming, actor Jackie Chan and many others. WildAid CEO Peter Knights took time to speak with HPR All Things Considered Host Dave Lawrence. Among other topics, they discussed recent projects based around pangolins and elephants, two highly vulnerable animal species facing extinction crises due to demand from consumers in the Asia Pacific.
Helping Hand is a weekly feature airing statewide on HPR1 stations each Friday as part of our afternoon drive broadcast of All Things Considered, and then archived online here. Every week, Helping Hand puts the spotlight on an organization, topic or event that offers assistance to people with disabilities, and people and animals who are among the most vulnerable.
WildAid have become known for successful and highly visible public service campaigns using well-known Asian celebrities in video, print ads and other public signage encouraging people not to buy products like shark fins, pangolins and pangolin scales, rhino horn and elephant ivory, among other imperiled animals that are facing threats and extinction crises primarily due to consumers in Asia. They have incredibly high ratings as a nonprofit, including a 4 out of 4 rating from Charity Navigator. This interview focused on two specific areas of their work: a recent partnership with the University of Hong Kong to conduct a survey regarding use of endangered wildlife products, like pangolins, as well as a campaign with Japanese nonprofit Tears of the African Elephant focused on ending the Japanese ivory trade ahead of the 2020 Olympics.
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