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In Hong Kong, a Student-Led Rallying Cry: Say No to Ivory

With three-quarters of Hong Kong citizens in support of a commercial ivory sales ban, schoolchildren have played a leading role in confronting one of the world’s largest ivory markets.

This past Saturday, 20 children from ESF Clearwater Bay School in Sai Kung District chanted the slogan “Say No to Ivory!” as they delivered to the Hong Kong government’s Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) a giant elephant collage made up of 120 individually hand-written messages, urging the government to ban ivory sales.

The children, along with their teachers and parents, made up a boisterous crowd of around 50 people in the ground floor lobby of AFCD’s headquarters. 

The following day, WildAid along with our partners African Wildlife Foundation and Save the Elephants unveiled a new PSA starring local Hong Kong celebrities at an event attended by area school kids. Check out the English-subtitled PSA below. 

These youth events follow a student-led protest of Hong Kong’s ivory retailers in March — the largest such rally to date and the fifth in a series of youth-organized demonstrations. Over the past year, several Hong Kong retailers pulled ivory products from the shelves following protests outside their stores.

WildAid, African Wildlife Foundation and Save the Elephants are running a major public awareness campaign in mainland China to reduce the demand for ivory. The campaign uses public service announcements, billboards and subway ads featuring some of China’s biggest celebrities, including former NBA superstar Yao Ming, action hero Jackie Chan and top Chinese actress Li Bingbing, as well as The Duke of Cambridge (Prince William), David Beckham and others.

Two years in, the campaign has significantly increased awareness of today’s poaching crisis, and is now active in Hong Kong, Thailand and the United States — all major ivory consumers.