Ed Norton Urges Consumers to Protect Endangered Wildlife by Avoiding Illegally Trafficked Animal Products (Video)


During the 17th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), an international agreement to protect wild animals and plants from overexploitation, U.S. Wildlife Trafficking Alliance member Discovery Communications, Inc., working in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, unveiled a new public service announcement, narrated by actor, filmmaker and activist Ed Norton, that will inspire consumers to make informed purchasing choices and help protect endangered species populations around the world for generations to come.

The PSA is the latest example of the Alliance’s corporate members’ dedication to help raise awareness about the illegal wildlife trade and show consumers that they can make a difference by refusing to purchase such products.

Formed in support of President Obama’s National Strategy for Combating Wildlife Trafficking, the Alliance, with the support of philanthropic leaders including Vulcan, Inc., works with an expanding network of partners across the corporate, nonprofit, and governmental sectors to reduce demand for illegal wildlife products. In a recent three-year period, approximately 100,000 elephants were killed for their ivory. Smaller rhino populations in Africa also are being decimated at rates of more than 1,000 killings per year; tiger populations have plummeted by 97 percent in the last century, leaving only approximately 3,200 left in the wild; and more than 1 million pangolins have been poached from the wild in the last decade alone. Across the world, wildlife trafficking is the fourth most profitable black market industry, following the drug trade, human trafficking, and arms smuggling. 

“Stopping the slaughter of some of the world’s most magnificent creatures requires a global effort,” said David J. Hayes, chair of the U.S. Wildlife Trafficking Alliance. “But we must start here at home. When people learn more about the tragedy of illegal wildlife trafficking, they can vote with their wallet and end the demand for these products. Our partners are crucial to this effort. When Discovery joined our Alliance, it committed to help educate consumers – and this PSA will make a major impact by showing people that they have the power to stop the killing.”

“For more than 30 years, Discovery Communications has been committed to exploring and protecting our planet and shining a light on the world’s most fascinating creatures. We are proud to engage participants and partners at CITES and to support the important work that the Fish and Wildlife Service does as part of the Department of Interior,” said David Zaslav, President and CEO of Discovery Communications. “Discovery is a purpose-driven company and saving endangered species is rooted in our DNA. We are honored to lend our creative capabilities and global platforms to this compelling cause, ensuring that we can continue to tell the stories of our world’s most iconic species for years to come.”

“Engaging the private sector to help address wildlife trafficking is critical to government efforts,” said Dan Ashe, Director of USFWS. “Finding a way to excite and inspire people about the natural world around them is of the utmost importance for the future of our planet. This public-private partnership with Discovery is a key step in our fight against illegal wildlife trade.”

Watch the PSA: 

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