Animal welfare advocacy in the Republic of Congo, "Our elephants are not for sale"
After an 8 hour flight from Paris, we arrived in Brazzaville, the capital of the Republic of Congo.
The city has close to one million citizens. Just across the Congo River lies the capital of DRC, home to nine million people. We walked in sight of the Maya Maya Airport, recently built by a Chinese Company.
After picking up our bags and getting into the first available taxi, we were excited to see the first International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) billboard, which is part of a national campaign aimed at raising awareness of the needless killing of elephants driven by the increasing demand for ivory.
Surprisingly, few Congolese have seen elephants in the wild, so being exposed to the image of a poached elephant has a strong impact.
‘Our elephants are not for sale’ is the message that reads on the billboards. To reach Congolese nationals as well as foreigners or ex pats, this message is delivered in French, in Lingala (Congolese dialect) and in Chinese languages.
Intervision, the creative agency we worked with in Brazzaville, told us we are the first ones to have done this.
We were happy to be able to launch that campaign ahead of the much publicized visit to the Congo of the new Chinese President Xi Jinping back in late March of this year.
This campaign deployed in the three main cities of the country (Brazzaville, Pointe-Noire and Ouesso) is just one part of a global IFAW effort to dismantle the illicit ivory markets existing in the country.
Stay tuned for more updates coming from the IFAW mission to Congo.