Travelers through South Africa's Lanseria Airport asked to "Think Twice" about wildlife
When the headlines scream daily about the massacre of elephants for their ivory, or the appalling cruelty of rhino poaching, it’s easy (well, understandable, at any rate) to forget that the illegal wildlife trade is also about the little things, and not just animals either.
Wherever you travel you’ll find markets and curio shops selling trinkets made from animal parts. In South Africa pretty porcupine quills get turned into everything from sugar spoons to hair ornaments. They are gorgeous and tempting.
How many rare plant collectors ever consider that collecting cuttings might just be the last snip for a species?
Then there are the live animals – you wouldn’t believe how many people think that a tiny tortoise, for instance, might make a cute pet, and simply slip the little reptiles into their hand bags.
I’d bet if you asked any of these people if they thought what they were doing was a bad idea, they’d say no.
Well, maybe the tortoise thief would have a few guilty pangs.
The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) reckons the traveller’s mantra should be: “If we don’t buy, they don’t die”.
We have partnered with the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) and Lanseria International Airport near Johannesburg, South Africa to launch Think Twice one of the most high-profile conservation campaigns ever to take flight at an international airport.
As one of South Africa’s busiest international airports, Lanseria is also home to the widest range of charter companies in South Africa – many of them departing from here for Africa. Lanseria has committed to helping end illegal trade in endangered species and has provided IFAW and EWT with blanket branding exposure for our Think Twice about Wildlife campaign throughout the airport.
It’s impossible to avoid the hard hitting print and digital campaign that features dead wild animals and flora circulating on a luggage carousel, making the connection between the species and the souvenirs and collectables that consumers may buy.
Quite simply, no passenger travelling through Lanseria International Airport – whether they are Lady Gaga arriving on a private jet or an ordinary passenger - can say they are unaware of the need to protect wildlife, fauna and flora in South Africa and worldwide.
The campaign will run indefinitely at Lanseria and we’re hoping to persuade airports in all of South Africa’s major centres to join us in the initiative. It’s in everyone’s interest – most particularly the wild fauna and flora that bear the brunt of this wicked and brutal billion dollar trade.