Over the last 30 years, Discovery has had a heritage and mission to entertain and inspire, and make the world a better place. As part of that mission-driven approach, Discovery is embarking on a global campaign aimed at raising awareness and inspiring action around wildlife protection. The illegal wildlife trade is a global threat rapidly pushing endangered species toward extinction. Discovery is working with partners to disrupt illegal wildlife trafficking, advocate for species protection through grassroots legislation, and leverage the power of our brands, platforms and talent to make an impact and protect these iconic species for generations to come.
DISCOVERY COMMUNICATIONS LAUNCHES MULTIPLATFORM CAMPAIGN AT CITES TO RAISE AWARENESS ABOUT ENDANGERED SPECIES
– New Edward Norton Public Service Announcement and Social Media Campaign to Protect Wildlife –
(Johannesburg, South Africa) – In support of an ongoing commitment to save the world’s most endangered species, Discovery Communications and the U.S. Wildlife Trafficking Alliance, in conjunction with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) announced today at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) a multiplatform campaign to raise awareness and reduce demand for illegally sold animal products.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Director Dan Ashe, U.S. Embassy Charge d’Affaires Jessica Lapenn, CITES Secretary-General John Scanlon, Acting Assistant Secretary Ambassador Judith G. Garber, and Discovery Communications Vice President of Brand and Content, Discovery Networks Central & Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa, Lee Hobbs revealed today an originally created public service announcement narrated by actor Edward Norton encouraging individuals to take action and stop illegal trade and purchase of animal products around the world. This PSA will air on Discovery’s channels in the U.S. next month and locally customized versions will roll out on Discovery’s global networks shortly thereafter.
The PSA is available at https://youtu.be/awpRoOUbSLg
“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.”
During the 10 days of the conference, Discovery Communications is featuring a dual-screen Digital Walkway at the entrance to the exhibition hall. Discovery Communications also will bolster its efforts to support the protection of wildlife and habitats by supporting the United Nations’ Wild for Life campaign at CITES. At its conference booth, Discovery will ask attendees to sign the U.N. Wild for Life pledge, and will then photograph attendees and morph their picture with one of eight kindred species: tiger, elephant, helmeted hornbill, orangutan, pangolin, rhino, sea turtle or rosewood. Attendees can get a print and digital version of this rendering to post to social media under the #WildForLife hashtag.
“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.”
“Discovery Communications supports all efforts stemming the illegal trade of endangered species products to support species preservation, including here in Africa,” said Discovery Communications Vice President of Brand and Content Lee Hobbs. “We are proud to be at CITES with so many globally minded and impactful dignitaries and advocacy groups who are leading these efforts. We support their work wholeheartedly.”
To learn more about Discovery Communications’ efforts to confront the wildlife trafficking crisis and get involved, visit www.discoverycommunications.com.
About Discovery Communications
Discovery Communications (Nasdaq: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK) satisfies curiosity and engages superfans with a portfolio of premium nonfiction, sports and kids programming brands. Reaching 3 billion cumulative viewers across pay-TV and free-to-air platforms in more than 220 countries and territories, Discovery’s portfolio includes the global brands Discovery Channel, TLC, Investigation Discovery, Animal Planet, Science and Turbo/Velocity, as well as OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network in the U.S., Discovery Kids in Latin America, and Eurosport, the leading provider of locally relevant, premium sports content across Europe. Discovery reaches audiences across screens through digital-first programming from Discovery VR, Seeker and SourceFed Studios, as well as over-the-top and TV Everywhere offerings including Eurosport Player, Dplay, Discovery K!ds Play and Discovery GO. For more information, please visit www.discoverycommunications.com.
About the United State Fish and Wildlife Service
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service works with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. For more information, visit www.fws.gov, or connect with us through any of these social media channels: Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube.
About Wild for Life
The United Nations, led by UN Environment, UNDP, UNODC and CITES, has launched a bold new campaign in 8 languages – with governments, businesses, civil society and key opinion leaders – to build a dynamic force for change. #WildforLife aims to mobilize millions of people to participate in the process of making commitments and taking action against illegal wildlife trade. Its message underscores that greed, fashion, ignorance, indifference, investment, corruption, pseudo-medicinal use and cultural belief should not result in threats to any species. It asks participants to use their own spheres of influence to help end the illegal trade in wildlife, however it touches or impacts them.
DISCOVERY COMMUNICATIONS AND RALPH LAUREN HAVE JOINED FORCES TO COLLABORATE ON SAVING ENDANGERED SPECIES
The loss of iconic species at historic and alarming rates is an issue increasingly relevant to industries in the U.S. and mobilizing many to act. That is why last year, Discovery Communications (DCI) and Ralph Lauren joined the U.S. Wildlife Trafficking Alliance (USWTA) and continue to find other ways of collaborating to address the issue and prove social responsibility is not an afterthought amongst corporate America.
The illegal wildlife trade is a multibillion dollar business generating illegal profits for the criminal syndicates masterminding the killing, transport and marketing of illegal wildlife products. U.S. intelligence agencies have confirmed that in addition to other criminal enterprises, wildlife trafficking is corrupting governments, undermining the rule of law, and helping finance terrorist organizations.
As severe as it is, wildlife trafficking is just one of many threats that have contributed to the loss of nearly 50% of the world’s wildlife over the past 40 years. It can be hard to recognize the connections between this rapid loss of wildlife and the everyday actions of consumers, but in an increasingly globalized world the cause and effect are more and more apparent and companies like Discovery and Ralph Lauren are responding in kind.
The U.S. Wildlife Trafficking Alliance was formed in response to overwhelming evidence that the U.S. is among the major markets for wildlife and wildlife products. Following a visit to Kenya in 2015, President Obama announced the formation of the USWTA, a voluntary coalition of non-profit organizations, companies, foundations and media interests that pledge to work with the U.S. government to raise public awareness and change behavior to reduce domestic demand for illegal wildlife products. Both Discovery Communications and Ralph Lauren are using their expertise and positions as leaders in their respective fields to work with the USWTA and fight back against this devastating enterprise. As part of their commitments, Ralph Lauren will continue to meet its obligations under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), adhere to the company’s Animal Sourcing Principles, create global awareness within the company, present issues of illegal wildlife in the fashion industry to the American Apparel and Footwear Association’s Social Responsibility Committee, and incorporate guidelines developed by the USWTA into its sustainability policies and practices. DCI has also committed to creating a global consumer campaign with the creation of PSAs, short form and virtual reality content, outreach to district school partners and sponsoring high-profile events to highlight issues facing wildlife.
As a mission-driven organization, DCI is building on these commitments to spread the message of species protection through its media platforms and legislative advocacy. With three billion cumulative viewers worldwide, the company is asking viewers to take action at www.discovery.com/ProtectingWildlife and tell their legislators to support bills that will combat illegal wildlife trafficking and save these important species from the brink of extinction. Discovery Communications is proud to stand strongly with Ralph Lauren and the rest of the USWTA members in passionate support on this important issue.