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Chinese star Li Bingbing joins fight against poaching


19:02, May 10, 2013

China's well-known actress Li Bingbing as a UNEP goodwill ambassador on Monday declared her support towards global campaign to end illegal trade in wildlife products.

Li pledged to use her star power to galvanize attention on threats to African elephants and rhinos as criminal syndicate target them for ivory and horns, in a press conference held by UNEP in Nairobi.

"The current poaching crisis raises major concerns about survival of elephants and rhinos in Kenya and the entire African continent. Ivory is very vital to the elephant, the economy and livelihoods of African communities," Li said.

She said that ordinary citizens, governments and business community in Asia have a critical role in ending killings of African elephants and rhinos.

It is Li's first overseas engagement in wildlife and also the first time she visited Kenya. "When buying stops the killing can too," she said.

The Executive Director, UNEP, Achim Steiner, said the enforcement of legal instruments alongside greater political goodwill is also critical to ending poaching of African wildlife.

Steiner said rising wildlife crime in Kenya and other parts of Africa is an issue of global concern, impacting many regions of the world. To stop poaching requires co-efforts from resource countries, transporting countries and consuming countries.

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