“Where’s My Mama? 2.0” campaign launches in Malaysia
Kuala Lumpur, 15th March 2012—A YouTube sensation and a counterfeit cure for HIV/AIDS are among the new stars of a campaign by The Body Shop® West Malaysia and TRAFFIC Southeast Asia calling for urgent action to stop illegal wildlife trade.
The Slow Loris, one of the 25 most endangered primates in the world, shot to fame after various videos of the animal’s cute antics on YouTube went viral.
A public enamoured by its cute and cuddly appearance is fueling the illegal trade with little realization that Slow Loris infants are often stolen from their mothers to cater to the clamour for an adorable pet. The mothers are often killed or sold separately – either way leaving the young on their own with little hope for survival.
The Slow Loris and its story will front the “Where’s My Mama? 2.0” campaign by The Body Shop® and TRAFFIC that aims to raise awareness among consumers about the impact their choices have on nature.
The campaign, now in its second-year, will also highlight other animals threatened by wildlife trafficking.
Among these is the eye-catching Tokay Gecko which many erroneously believe to cure HIV/AIDS. Despite a World Health Organization (WHO) statement that the gecko has no such medicinal properties, it is illegally traded in large numbers across Southeast Asia for this very reason.
The campaign to reduce consumer demand and stem illegal wildlife trade reached out to over 6 million people last year through messages printed on The Body Shop® bags and postcards, and through a year-long online awareness programme by TRAFFIC. It called on members of the public to play their part by reporting illegal trade and wildlife crime to the Wildlife Crime Hotline managed by the Malaysian Conservation Alliance for Tigers (MYCAT).
The second phase of the campaign was launched at Paya Indah Wetlands today by the Honorable Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Dato’ Sri Douglas Uggah Embas.
The Body Shop®, a long advocate in animal protection, began its partnership with TRAFFIC in 2011 with the first phase of the campaign. The awareness through postcards, posters and paper bags was brought to life thanks to the Orang Utan and Sun Bear whose sad portraits were the public face of the campaign.
Both The Body Shop® and TRAFFIC have been highlighting issues in the Belum–Temengor forest complex of northern Malaysia, and have advocated that not only should the area be protected but its wildlife too. The Body Shop® has done this through the many campaigns they have run on Belum–Temengor and TRAFFIC had done this through research and more recently through its joint video with WWF Malaysia, “On Borrowed Time”.
In line with this, The Body Shop® through its Kick the Bag Habit Campaign raised funds for TRAFFIC for nature walks to be conducted in Belum–Temengor in the hopes that these walks will bring the public face to face with challenges in the area to change people’s attitudes to protect the area and its wildlife.