FRONTLINE FLASH | Chinese Consumers Re-think Ivory Purchases

ENG social media_ivory-01

ENG social media_ivory-01
Did you know that every 15 minutes, an elephant is killed for its tusks? Up to 40,000 of these majestic
animals are killed each year!
Because of greed, corruption and misinformed consumers.
Record seizures this year in Southeast Asia, such as the one in Thailand totaling more than 4 tons, are clear
indicators that African elephants are being slaughtered to supply demand for ivory in the far east.
What can we do about it? Don’t fret, there is still hope.
The demand for ivory is what drives the slaughter of elephants. In order to help curb this demand in Southeast
Asia and China, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) sponsored Asia’s Regional Response to
Endangered Species Trafficking (ARREST) Program launched awareness campaigns in China, Thailand and
Vietnam themed “iTHINK” to encourage debate and action. Results from these campaigns suggest a brighter
future for wild elephant populations in Asia and Africa.
Chinese Consumers Re-think Ivory Purchases
New studies show that the perceptions towards the purchasing of ivory among Chinese consumers are shifting,
thanks to effective awareness raising and behavior change campaigns run by conservationists. With support
from the USAID-sponsored ARREST Program, Chinese campaigners placed public service announcements on
television, the Internet, and at over 1,300 locations, reaching 40 million people per day at their peak. Recent
assessments show a growing awareness and concern for how ivory is really obtained; from animals that have
been poached not “elephant teeth” that have fallen out. Using Chinese celebrities and well known opinion
leaders, the “iTHINK” campaigns run in China have successfully shifted mindsets and positively influenced
consumer purchasing choices at a time critical to survival of African elephants.
USAID’s Largest Counter Wildlife Trafficking Program Highlights Achievements this September in Bangkok
The main accomplishments of the ARREST Program, together with lessons learned and the many tools and
legacies of the program, will be presented at a press conference held in Bangkok on September 15 at 11 a.m.,
with key ARREST partners from across Asia, including representatives from government agencies, NGOs, and
members of the local and international media. USAID encourages everyone to join the event at the Foreign
Correspondents’ Club of Thailand, located on the top floor of the Maneeya Center Building, next to the Chitlom
BTS station. 
For more information, please contact Freeland, the lead implementing partner of ARREST, at