Tourism outreach to end demand for ivory and save elephants
Kenya‟s new Wildlife Conservation and Management Act came into effect on January 10th 2014 and it bites. Passengers in possession of any amount of ivory, even earrings, face up to life imprisonment. Kenya is world‟s gateway into Africa, and is also the world‟s hub for transiting of ivory. WildlifeDirect, a Kenyan NGO is committed to saving elephants by ending the poaching, stopping the trafficking of ivory and stopping the buying of ivory through the “Hands Off Our Elephants” campaign (HOOE). HOOE is an award winning innovative communications and outreach campaign to achieve behaviour change by mobilizing of all sectors of society to support elephant conservation. Realizing that many international travellers arrested for possession of ivory and other wildlife products in Nairobi are largely ignorant of the impact of their purchase on elephants, and the severe legal consequences in Kenya, WildlifeDirect has partnered with tourism, travel and transport stakeholders through responsible messaging to travellers. Initiatives being rolled out include clever branding of aircraft and other vehicles, check-in questions, messages on boarding passes, websites and social media and inflight information. The campaign will reach millions of passengers and travellers in East Africa and it will achieve five things; Prevention of wildlife crimes, create awareness about the plight of elephants, enlist passengers in conservation initiatives, lead the world in responsible travel and trigger global replication.