On World Environment Day 2021 (Saturday, June 05, 2021) the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in association with WWF India, Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB), Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC), and TRAFFIC launched two new awareness campaigns to “Stop Illegal Wildlife Trafficking.” The campaigns were launched by Shri Soumitra Dasgupta, Additional Director General of Forests (Wildlife).
Conceptualized and created by the renowned advertising agency, Ogilvy the #NotYourMedicine and #SadEmojis awareness campaigns have been launched to help curb poaching and illegal trade of protected wildlife species. Wildlife species are ruthlessly smuggled and slaughtered due to superstitious beliefs and myths. The hard-hitting visuals highlight the plight of the endangered species suffering in the name of fake remedies.
The #NotYourMedicine campaign throws the spotlight on two of India’s rampantly smuggled and threatened wildlife species- Indian Rhino and Pangolins. The parts and derivatives of these endangered wildlife species such as horns of the Indian Rhino and scales of Pangolin are illegally traded for use as false remedies or to make traditional medicines.
The #SadEmojis campaign uses emojis of five critically endangered wildlife species including Royal Bengal Tiger, Indian Barn Owl, Indian Pangolin, Indian Star Tortoise and Indian Bear. The campaign aims to raise awareness about the plight of the most trafficked wildlife species in the country. These emojis are created o show just one type of expression, sadness. By including these emojis in our day-to-day conversations, netizens can now join in to support the cause.
The two awareness campaigns- Not your medicine and Sad Emojis aim to sensitize and orient mass audiences, the general public and law enforcement officials towards the status, scale and mode of trafficking of wildlife products. Furthermore, the campaigns urge citizens to help curb wildlife trafficking by making consumption choices that are in the favour of wildlife protection and conservation.
Mr Atul Bagai, Country, Head UNEP India Office, reiterated that “In building back better, we need to remember that these species, traded illegally for false remedies is one of the most serious threats to the existence of wildlife are- Not Your medicine!”
As we usher into the United Nations Decade for Ecosystem Restoration (2021-2030) let us unitedly create a significant change in the relationship between humans and nature.