Reading For Wildlife Campaign Brings Together Authors, Artists, Conservationists To Raise Awareness
July sees the launch of the ‘Reading for Wildlife’ campaign, a month-long book reading for children and adults to raise awareness of the illegal wildlife trade and the impact of Covid-19 on wildlife and communities.
London-based author Zella will be reading her children’s adventure story ‘An Elephant for Breakfast’ with a group of friends and releasing a chapter a day over the month of July.
The illegal wildlife trade is worth US$213 billion a year and is the fourth largest international organised crime in the world. According to the World Bank, an elephant is poached for its tusks every 30 minutes. Since Covid-19 stopped most international travel and resulted in an enormous fall in tourism revenues, funding for conservation projects and rangers has all but dried up and the situation has worsened.
Zella, who is originally from New Zealand, said “My journey into the Illegal Wildlife Trade began when I wrote the book. I was shocked to learn how endangered elephants are and that we are likely to be the generation that sees them disappear forever, unless we stop the supply or demand of ivory. The Illegal Wildlife Trade is also likely to cause the extinction of Rhino, Cheetah and other iconic animals, unless people everywhere help stop demand. Now, things are even worse, with the devastating impact of Covid-19 on both animals and people, with tourism being wiped out and the obliteration of funding sources for conservation projects.”
‘An Elephant for Breakfast’ is a detective story where a group of children in London have an adventure trying to stop ivory being smuggled into the country.
Actor and wildlife advocate Joanna Lumley, who is one of the readers in the campaign said “A thought provoking and gripping and entertaining story, surely this will be a key to changing the minds of adults through the insistence of their children.”
A total of 27 readers will each read a chapter of the book, with one chapter being released each day. Alongside Joanna Lumley are a number of authors, actors, broadcasters, artists, conservationists and industry leaders including:
- Ellen Alpsten, Author
- Patrick Aryee, Presenter and biologist
- Lucy Campbell, Blogger
- Nicky Cox, Editor in Chief, First News
- Emily Croft-Baker, Artist
- Charles Cumming, Author
- Magoo Giles, Founder and Principal, Knightsbridge School
- James Glancy, Broadcaster and conservationist
- Gloria Guevara, CEO, World Travel & Tourism Council
- Tony Hawks, Comedian and writer
- Amanda Hills, President,Hills Balfour
- Bella Lack, Conservationist and youth ambassador
- Pinky Laing, Designer
- Jon Lemalu, Opera singer
- Amanny Mo, Broadcaster
- Caroline Moultrie, Managing Director, Hills Balfour
- Deok Joo Rhee QC, Barrister
- Chris Sainty, UK Ambassador to Portugal
- John Scanlon, Former Secretary General of CITES and Special Envoy for African Parks
- Axel Scheffler, Illustrator
- Dan Smith, Singer/songwriter
- David Yarrow, Photographer
Zella continued, “I am delighted to be joined by so many dedicated and illustrious readers all with the same objective, to galvanise public support for the fight against the illegal wildlife trade. We are encouraging everyone, young and old, to make sure the wildlife is SAVED by suggesting five simple steps that everyone can take to join the fight.”
SAVED encourages people to:
- Share the campaign and the story with their friends and social media networks
- Adopt an endangered species or an animal via one of the adoption programmes available
- Visit, when you can, either your local research-focused zoo or, when the time is right, the beautiful places where these animals can still be seen in the wild
- Educate yourself about items made from illegally traded products so you don’t inadvertently create demand
- Donate to one of the many conservation charities working tirelessly in this area
The chapters will be released on the ‘Reading for Wildlife’ YouTube channel at 11am every day from 1st to 27th July 2020.