AWF Partners with Shanghai Zoo to Showcase Endangered African Wildlife Species

Shanghai, China

African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) in collaboration with Shanghai Zoo is set to launch a two-month exhibition Saving Africa's Endangered Species aimed at raising public awareness on wildlife conservation in Africa.The exhibition, which will be unveiled on September 28, 2019, will feature photographs of these species alongside detailed information about the various conservation efforts being carried out on the continent as part of a sensitization campaign against illegal wildlife trade.

This campaign will run concurrently with the debut Chinese screening of the award-winning short film Sides of a Horn, which is the first of its kind to tell the story of Africa's poaching war from both sides of the fence. The film is based on actual events.

AWF is actively working toward stopping the demand for ivory through awareness campaigns in Asia with exhibitions targeting Chinese nationals. Last January, AWF and the Beijing Zoo signed a Memorandum of Understanding and launched a two-month exhibition at the zoo in September 2018. The MoU acknowledges that cooperation between China and Africa is essential for the protection of Africa’s wildlife and wild lands.

“China is increasingly providing leadership on conservation through proactive policies, and Africa — and the world — is watching. This partnership gives us an opportunity to bolster our work in China, and an ability to push for greater Chinese involvement in Africa’s conservation agenda,” AWF CEO Kaddu Sebunya said during the MoU signing at the Beijing Zoo last year.

Since the signing of the MoU, there have been collaborative efforts between both stakeholders to educate zoo visitors about Africa’s most iconic and threatened species. For instance, the two groups have taken stock of selected African wildlife hosted at the zoo, and updated the display information about them to include accurate facts and figures about their scientific biodata and current populations in Africa.

AWF also plays a significant role in the China-Africa Dialogue, which facilitates high-level meetings between African and Chinese business leaders to emphasize the conservation of Africa’s natural resources as essential to the continent’s economic growth.

A recent study carried out by the University of Freiburg, University of York, and the Convention for the International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) found that annual poaching rates in Africa declined from an estimated peak of over 10 percent in 2011 to less than 4 percent in 2017. This drop has been partly attributed to decreasing demand for ivory in Asian countries due to anti-poaching awareness campaigns and the banning of ivory sales. Although China has since joined the list of countries that have closed domestic ivory markets, there is still work to be done to diminish both the supply and demand for elephant ivory in the country.

About Shanghai Zoo

Shanghai Zoological Park is the main zoological garden in Shanghai, China. The zoo houses and exhibits more than 470 different species from all over the world with a total of 5,000 animals with 63 species originating from Africa. It covers an area of 740,000 square meters. The zoo endeavors to create an ecofriendly environment for the animals. Since the zoo was established it has been host to over 150,000,000 visitors.

About African Wildlife Foundation

The African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) is the primary advocate for the protection of wildlife and wild lands as an essential part of a modern and prosperous Africa. Founded in 1961 to focus on Africa’s unique conservation needs, we articulate a uniquely African vision, bridge science and public policy, and demonstrate the benefits of conservation to ensure the survival of the continent’s wildlife and wild lands.

For inquiries, please contact:

Jia Qiao
Advocacy Officer, China
African Wildlife Foundation
Tel: +86 187 5714 9102