IFAW Helps Unveil Worlds Largest Tiger Mosaic at CITES!
The International Fund for Animal Welfare's Lynn Levine is on the ground at CITES in the Hague...she filed this story about the International Tiger Coalition's Unveiling of the world's largest tiger mosaic made up of over 25,000 supporter images just a few hours ago...
June 7, The Hague
Today, an unprecedented 35 NGO's were represented in the unveiling of the International Tiger Coalition Tiger Mosaic. Crowd turnout was great, and volunteers from a bunch of organizations worked the crowd with Polaroids of attendees, many of whom were delegates, to upload onto the electronic version of the mosaic. I’m excited to report that turnout among IFAW staff was impressive, and I think for the first time in IFAW history, we may even have some decent imagery to support our photogenically-challenged Wildlife Trade program! Prominent among the coalition spokespeople were our very own Vivek Menon and Grace Gabriel, who continually do us proud. Special mention should go to the volunteers who wore the tiger suit, as it was unseasonably warm (for Northern Europe!) during the event.
Photo: BBC News
In the evening, IFAW participated in the presentation of Interpol's Ecomessage Award. The ceremony took place at a reception held by the German government and attended by about 500 invited delegates. I must say that the Germans sure do know how to throw a party: it was held in a 19th century (formerly wooden bathhouse) pavilion right on the beach where we were plied with bottomless glasses of champagne (and orange juice) and Dutch delicacies including dishes made using this year's first catch of herring.
The winners of the Ecomessage Award were announced mid-stream of the reception, when the plaques were presented to representatives of Hong Kong and Cameroon, who both gave acceptance speeches. There was one unfortunate glitch however (because the ceremony took place well into the reception, the crowd was focused on eating, drinking and talking, and it got quite loud during the event).
Unfortunately, because of official protocol issues, we had no choice, but for those of you in event planning, try to avoid doing anything after the crowd has already begun drinking, if at all possible. Sad, because about 2/3 of the attendees could not bring themselves take a moment to honor the incredible sacrifice that enforcement agencies and their officials must make on a daily basis as they risk their lives in the field. Still, all in all, another IFAW project success: since IFAW's involvement with Interpol on the Ecomessage system, official reporting by enforcement agencies around the globe has increased fivefold!