Nairobi, Kenya – On June 24th, PMC’s Kenya Country Representative and long-time Sabido Methodology trainer Tom Kazungu spoke to a room full of people who were all concerned about illegal poaching and trade in wildlife products and told them that addressing the issue through entertainment might be the best approach to creating change, and saving species like the African elephant.
Experts predict that the extinction of the African elephant in the wild could happen within eleven years – by 2025 – and the forest elephant could be extinct within ten years – unless drastic changes are made. In addition to losing incredible wild animals, African communities are also seeing increased violence and crime associated with the illegal trade, and those working to stop the poaching are often in a direct line of danger.
It was issues like this that led the United Nations Environmental Programme to host the first UN Environment Assembly in Nairobi, Kenya. The event took place from June 23-27, 2014 with side panels focused on particular issues. Population Media Center, The Tsavo Trust, and the Kenyan Government partnered to present a side panel on “Illegal Trade in Wildlife.”
The Kenyan government focused on the complexity of wildlife crime and how it needs to be dealt with on various levels of government including enforcement, demand reduction, and legislation. Ian Saunders, COO of The Tsavo Trust, discussed sustainable development and wildlife management practices, and conservation and anti-poaching efforts in East Africa. Kazungu described PMC’s approach as “entertainment with proven social benefits,” citing impressive impacts from previous socially-oriented serial dramas and proposing a long-running TV series to catalyze behavior change and stop illegal wildlife trade. PMC has successfully addressed environmental issues in several of its programs, including deforestation of gorilla habitat in Rwanda, illegal dynamite fishing in Papua New Guinea, and adaptation to climate change in Vietnam.
ABOUT POPULATION MEDIA CENTER (PMC):
Population Media Center (PMC) is a nonprofit, international nongovernmental organization, which strives to improve the health and well-being of people around the world through the use of entertainment-education strategies, like serialized dramas on radio and television, in which characters evolve into role models for the audience for positive behavior change. Founded in 1998, PMC has over 15 years of field experience using the Sabido methodology of behavior change communications, impacting more than 50 countries around the world. www.populationmedia.org
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