To reduce demand for wildlife parts and products, which fuels illegal poaching and trafficking activities, IFAW conducts behavior change communication campaigns in key consumer countries. Through public outreach, IFAW educates consumers about the cruelty, conservation impact and illegality of wildlife trade. An independent study of an IFAW ivory demand reduction campaign in China conducted in 2011 showed that our customized, multi-pronged approach has been effective in reducing purchases of ivory products.
China is one of the world’s largest consumers of wildlife products, from elephant ivory and shark fin to tiger bone and rhino horn.
IFAW established a Beijing office in 1997 and our Chinese leadership and staff provide essential insights into Chinese society that result in locally relevant, effective initiatives to reduce consumption and trade of wildlife products, both online and offline.
By developing high profile partnerships with media companies, such as JC Decaux, IFAW public outreach campaigns in China reach hundreds of millions of consumers each year.
Ivory Stockpile Destruction
Nations around the world have seized tons of illegally trafficked ivory since a ban on international trade of ivory went into effect in 1989.
An increasing number of countries along the trade chain from elephant range states to ivory consumer nations have publicly destroyed their confiscated ivory stockpiles through burning and crushing.
Destruction of confiscated ivory tusks and trinkets serves a symbolic purpose: to bring attention to the fact that tens of thousands of elephants are being killed for their ivory each year. The public destruction of ivory sends a message to the world that we place more value on elephants alive than dead.
Raising Awareness and Changing Attitudes
Many consumers of wildlife products are unaware of the cruelty and conservation impacts of illegal wildlife trade.
An IFAW survey in China found that 70% of Chinese don’t know ivory comes from dead elephants.
Children are the key to a better future for animals. Our education programs reach more than five million children in more than 18 countries each year with messages that encourage a compassionate approach to animals and their habitats. Our programs include wildlife endangered by trade, such as tigers in our Born to be Wild program and elephants in our Elephants Never Forget program.
Global tourism is a massive industry. While it can bring enormous benefits to communities, people and animals, it can do great harm when animals end up as souvenirs and habitat becomes degraded through unsustainable tourist practices.