Conservation International Partner of #WhoseSideAreYouOn Campaign Launched by Duke of Cambridge and David Beckham

6/11/2014

​New campaign for United for Wildlife harnesses the power of sport and social media to raise awareness of wildlife crime.

London, England / Arlington, Virginia - As a partner of the newly launched United for Wildlife campaign, run by The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, Conservation International is raising awareness about the urgent threats to pangolins, as well as elephants, rhinos and big cats, and to recruit a global community of young people who want their voices heard.

"#WhoseSideAreYouOn campaign is an exciting venture led by the Duke of Cambridge, Prince Harry, and the Duchess of Cambridge and involving international conservation organizations and major sports figures.  It is aimed at engaging young people to create a global movement against wildlife trafficking.  Launched in London on June 9, with the Duke of Cambridge and soccer icon David Beckham in attendance, it also includes as sports ambassadors globally renowned stars such as Andy Murray, Francois Pienaar and Yao Ming who are showing their support for wildlife protection at sporting events and on social media. "I am especially excited about this new initiative since it is sure to inspire young people to follow suit," said Russell Mittermeier, President of Conservation International.    

He added: "It was especially heartening to see a true eco-hero, Emmanuel de Merode, Director of the Virungas National Park in eastern Democratic Republic Of Congo, who shared the podium with the Duke Of Cambridge and David Beckham. After being the victim of a shooting in Virungas, he has recovered and will be back at Virungas in a few days. His presence here is a message to the world of amazing commitment and that we cannot give up on protecting wildlife."

Duke of Cambridge, President of United for Wildlife, was joined by David Beckham to launch a new campaign #WhoseSideAreYouOn.  The campaign aims to harness the power of sport and social media to ask this generation whose side they are on: the side of illegal killing or the side of species preservation.
At the event, held at Google Town Hall in London, The Duke of Cambridge said the illegal wildlife trade thrives because it is hidden – which makes it easier for criminals to operate. United for Wildlife wanted to find a way to show the world what was happening and to ask those who are alarmed by what they see to join our side.

The #WhoseSideAreYouOn campaign calls for people to show their support by signing up via Facebook, Twitter or Google+, subscribing to United for Wildlife You Tube channel or visiting the website www.unitedforwildlife.org to find out more. They can highlight the conservation issue by watching or participating in United for Wildlife sports events.
 
United for Wildlife, which launched in February this year, was created by the Royal Foundation, led by The Duke of Cambridge, to bring together the world's leading wildlife charities under a common purpose; to scale up the response to conservation crises and to create a global movement for change.
 
The Duke was joined at the launch by David Beckham, who announced the first group of global ambassadors for the campaign. These ambassadors, who between them reach a global audience, have pledged to raise awareness about the illegal wildlife trade by supporting Whose Side Are You On at sporting events and on social media. Alongside The Duke of Cambridge, Prince Harry and David Beckham, the ambassadors are: Andy Murray, Lewis Hamilton, Francois Pienaar, Rahul Dravid, Yao Ming, Sir Matthew Pinsent, Hans Sarpei, and The Leicester Tigers. More will be announced shortly.

Sport will be the vehicle through which young people engage with the campaign, and through these ambassadors a number of global sporting events will feature the logo. Lewis Hamilton showed his support for United for Wildlife at yesterday's Canadian Grand Prix, Andy Murray has a surprise in store for us at Wimbledon, and there will be many more to follow.

To explain the urgent need for the campaign, Emmanuel de Merode, Director of the Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo explained the dangerous reality of the frontline in wildlife protection. Emmanuel, who was shot and wounded recently in an ambush in the DRC, explained that in the midst of a civil war, the park and its natural riches must be preserved for those who rely on it for their future. A population of 3,000 forest elephants has been reduced to 400 with one herd in danger of being completely wiped out by poachers. 

The Duke of Cambridge said: "Around the world, the illegal wildlife trade is responsible for the slaughter of tens of thousands of animals a year, pushing some of our most beloved species to the brink of extinction. Our children should not live in a world without elephants, tigers, lions and rhinos. Enough is enough. It is time to choose between critically endangered species and the criminals who kill them for money."

 

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United for Wildlife
United for Wildlife is an unprecedented collaboration of seven international conservation organisations convened by HRH Duke of Cambridge and is committed to focusing increased attention on the most pressing conservation issues of our time. Led by the Royal Foundation, these organisations are Conservation International, Fauna & Flora International, International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), The Nature Conservancy, Wildlife Conservation Society, WWF-UK and The Zoological Society of London (ZSL).
 
The aim of United for Wildlife is to raise the profile of conservation, and increase awareness of the choice they are asking people to make between critically endangered species and the criminals who kill them for money.
 
By following United for Wildlife on Facebook, Twitter or Google+ or by subscribing to the YouTube channel and registering for email updates, people can show their commitment and become part of the United for Wildlife community.

Available Content for Media:
United for Wildlife website:
http://www.unitedforwildlife.org/
United for Wildlife Manifesto Film:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UYfCLGRuqIs
Cl's pangolin protection video:
http://www.unitedforwildlife.org/#!/partners/conservation-international
CI's Tropical Ecology Assessment and Monitoring (TEAM) Network camera trap images:
http://www.unitedforwildlife.org/#!/2014/05/party-animals
Download sporting ambassador images and the Manifestor film from Box.com folder:
https://theroyalfoundation.box.com/s/9j8cjhb9oy8k9id0ny69

 

Contact:
Laura Lucia
Media Manager, News + Publicity
Conservation International
Email: llucia@conservation.org
Phone: +1 703-341-2452

 

Note to Editors:
Conservation International (CI) – Building upon a strong foundation of science, partnership and field demonstration, CI empowers societies to responsibly and sustainably care for nature, our global biodiversity for the well-being of people. Founded in 1987, CI is headquartered in the Washington, D.C. area and employs more than 800 staff in 30 countries on six continents, and has nearly 1,000 partners around the world. For more information, please visit our website at:www.conservation.org or visit us on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

 

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