A new public service print campaign, ‘Protect the Pandas of Africa,’ has just been launched in China. The posters – designed by the well-known artist and conservationist Asher Jay – aim to raise public awareness of the illicit elephant, panda and rhino poaching industry, while also promoting WildAid’s larger “Say No to Ivory and Rhino Horn” campaign.

In a statement released to the wildlife conservation website MongaBay.com, Peter Knights, the executive director of WildAid, says, “These new works aim to enhance China’s current conservation efforts, shining a light on their accomplishments while asking them to broaden the impact of their kindness.”

Jay adds, “By transforming consumers into conservationists, we can directly impact the future of Africa’s rhinos and elephants. Cultural change is a contagious phenomenon, and comes with a tipping point – it starts with a few, gets adopted by many, and is then condemned by all.”

We have previously reported on the tragic consequences of elephant poaching in Zimbabwe, and the impact that these activities have on the animal victims is plain for all to see. But another chilling fact about the poaching industry – that is not widely known by the public – is its links to terror groups such as Al-Shabaab, who were responsible for the recent attack on the Westgate Shopping mall in Nairobi.

The Independent has recently reported that the illegal ivory trade is helping to fund the activities of the Al-Shabaab, and The Elephant Action League (EAL) have gone so far as to describe ivory as the “white gold of jihad.” Andrea Crosta, an EAL director, states that the illegal trade “funds up to 40 percent of of the cost [of Al-Shabaab’s] army of 5,000 people.”

No doubt about it: any campaign which serves to draw the world’s attention to this urgent issue deserves the highest praise.

Some of the posters can be seen below:

Translation: Protect the pandas of Africa – elephants. When the buying stops the killing can too.

Translation: Do you want to buy bloody rhino horn? When the buying stops the killing can too.

Translation: Do you want to own ivory dripping with blood? When the buying stops the killing can too.

Images Credit: WildAid