Spotlight Europe: Think Twice event at the Brussels Airport

A picture of the IFAW Think Twice campaign signage in the Brussels airport.Monday 2 July, Brussels Airport, gate 43: “Ladies and Gentlemen, our Brussels – Nairobi flight is now ready for boarding. But before, may we have your attention please? IFAW invites all passengers, without any exception; to take a last look at its Think Twice message What are you really bringing back with you? Think twice before you buy wildlife souvenirs!”.

This is the thought that runs through my mind as I walk around Brussels Airport and I see thousands of passengers passing by our numerous Think Twice scrolling posters. “To take a last look” because, if you have the chance to travel via Brussels Airport this summer, no doubt that you will come across one of the 35 scrolling posters advertising our Think Twice awareness campaign.

Brussels Airport is an international hub with a large number of flights to Africa. In addition as the seat of many European Union institutions, the airport greets many European and International bureaucrats. A Think Twice event at Brussels Airport therefore not only allows to educate and reach out to people travelling to Africa, but also raise awareness of IFAW and the issues with decision makers passing through Brussels Airport.

On Wednesday 18 July we will be holding a launch event in the airport with Belgian Minister Laurette Onkelinx in charge of Social Affairs & Public Health, the Belgian Customs Authorities, and Robbie Marsland, who is the IFAW UK Director. Amongst the attendees we are also counting on the presence of Members of the European Parliament, Permanent Representations, embassies, CITES officials, others politicians and the press.

Throughout the summer, we will also be present in the airport on certain days to hand out leaflets and other materials to passengers passing through the international terminal.

And as I walk out of the airport on this sunny afternoon, I see myself sitting on that same flight coming back and hearing a voice say: “Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome on board this flight from Nairobi to Brussels. Please sit back, relax and enjoy the flight. IFAW would like to thank you once again for not having brought back wildlife souvenirs!”.

-- James Pirnay

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Experts

Céline Sissler-Bienvenu, Director, France and Francophone Africa
Director, France and Francophone Africa
Dr. Cynthia Moss, IFAW Elephant Expert
IFAW Elephant Expert
Grace Ge Gabriel, Regional Director, Asia
Regional Director, Asia
James Isiche, Regional Director, East Africa
Regional Director, East Africa
Jason Bell, Program Director, Elephants Regional Director, South Africa
Program Director, Elephants, Regional Director, South Africa
Peter Pueschel, Director, International Environmental Agreements
Director, International Environmental Agreements
Vivek Menon, Director of IFAW partner, Wildlife Trust of India
Regional Director, South Asia