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Indian Celebrities Unite to Protect Wildlife

20th February, 2004

The Asian Conservation Awareness Programme India (ACAP) was launched on 18 February 2004, at the India habitat Centre, New Delhi, in the presence of the Chief Minister of Delhi, Mrs. Sheila Dikshit, and screen legend Shashi Kapoor. The launch marks the start of a dynamic new initiative to engage public and political support for conservation in India. The audience got a preview of exclusive multi-media messages by India’s top celebrities, including Amitabh Bachan, Saurav Ganguly, Shashi Kapoor, Naseerudin Shah and Sachin Tendulkar, who appealed for the protection of endangered wildlife, their habitats and the environment. A number of television channels have generously offered free airtime to air these messages.

ACAP-India is a programme of WildAid and the Wildlife Protection Society of India (WPSI). It brings innovative new means of communication to conservation in India, believing that through education and information, people can be encouraged to take action in support of wildlife and the natural environment. Central to ACAP is its work to stop consumer demand for endangered wildlife, which is driving many species to the edge of extinction in a trade estimated by Interpol to be worth around US$10-20 billion annually.

ACAP is specially designed to compliment anti-poaching efforts and endangered species protection laws by leveraging long-term support from decision makers, media, businesses and public.

At the launch, Belinda Wright, Executive Director of WPSI, pointed out that without greater awareness of the threats to India’s environment “we will continue to see the decimation of wildlife along with destruction of their natural habitats”.

Steve Trent, Founder-Director, WildAid, added that Indian wildlife conservation measures needed “a new and determined push, and through the generous support of these stars we hope to generate long term support for wildlife and wild places”.

Mrs. Sheila Dikshit, commenting on the fact that India’s treasure trove of biodiversity was being systematically plundered to feed the international demand for endangered wildlife products, said that “we are committed to ensure that the world does not become a poorer place because of a few greedy people.”

ACAP India will seek to focus specific attention on the protection of key endangered species including the tiger; and devise and support initiatives to combat poaching, illegal trade and habitat loss.


 


 

 

 

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