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Launch of short film competition on illegal wildlife trade

YANGON, 14 JUNE 2018: The UK Government, and the Luang Prabang Film Festival in cooperation with World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), have launched a short film competition to draw attention to the critical issue of illegal wildlife trade in the region.

“Illegal wildlife trafficking is the third-largest illicit trade in the world, with an estimated value of up to $19b per year. It threatens the survival of all endangered species including tiger, Asian and African elephant, rhino as well as pangolins – the most trafficked animal in the world. Myanmar, with its abundant wildlife and proximity to the notorious Golden Triangle is particularly vulnerable to this insidious trade,” said David Hall, Deputy Head of Mission, UK Embassy to Burma.

“The new Protection of Biodiversity and Protected Areas Law clears up any ambiguity that trade in elephant parts is illegal. We applaud Yangon for starting a mass awareness programme against illegal wildlife trade and the regional government’s intention to end all illegal wildlife sales. Once the rules for the new law are in place we will be rolling out enforcement nationally, with particularly focus on Mandalay next,” said Dr Nyi Nyi Kyaw, Director General, Forest Department.

Filmmakers from Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam (as well as foreign filmmakers in these countries) are invited to submit a film of up to six minutes in length about the illegal wildlife trade.

The three top winners will be invited to present their films in UK during the 2018 London Conference on Illegal Wildlife Trade, which will take place 10-11 October 2018. Prize winners (except for the special prize) will also be provided a roundtrip flight and accommodation to attend and participate in the 9th Luang Prabang Film Festival, which will take place 7-12 December 2018. The deadline for submission is 15th August, 2018.

“This is a great way to add national and unique voices to the fight against the illegal trade. Myanmar is on the front lines and while steps are being taken to combat it, all sectors must come together if we are to keep Myanmar’s wildlife for future generation.” said Christy Williams, Country Director, WWF-Myanmar.

Interested filmmakers are invited to contact WWF who can provide a briefing on the illegal wildlife trade situation in Myanmar.

In May, the Protection of Biodiversity and Protected Areas Law was published with includes a new mandatory prison sentence for poaching or trade of completely protected species or species protected under CITES.

The 2018 London Conference on Illegal Wildlife Trade will be hosted by the UK government in October.


About WWF
WWF is one of the world's largest and most respected independent conservation organizations, with over 5 million supporters and a global network active in over 100 countries. WWF's mission is to stop the degradation of the Earth's natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by conserving the world's biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption. WWF-Myanmar opened in 2014. Its work programmes include wildlife, habitats, green economy, renewal energy, and sustainable business.

WWF stands for the World Wide Fund for Nature (previously known as the World Wildlife Fund)

Media contacts:

Saw Linn Htet, Communications Officer, WWF-Myanmar

sawlinn.htet@wwf.org.mm, +95 9796300839

Nwe Nwe Aye, Public Diplomacy Manager, British Embassy
Nwe.Aye@fco.gov.uk, +95 1 370863