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WWF and WildAid launch ‘The Price We Pay’ campaign

Tackling illegal wildlife trade to prevent another pandemic

Recent research by WWF’s Asia-Pacific office showed a 74% increase in Facebook posts selling wildlife items in Myanmar between 2020 and 2021. Of these posts, 71% of the listed species are “completely protected” under Myanmar’s 2018 Conservation of Biodiversity and Protected Areas law.1 This is despite a 2020 report by WWF identifying the Greater Mekong region (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam and the southern province of Yunnan in China) to be hotspots for future zoonotic disease emergence – the kind of animal-to-people transmission that is implicated in the origin of COVID-19.2

In a two-minute video, viewers are transported into the seedy world of wildlife trafficking that shows how people from across Myanmar are paying for this trade with their health. The video is designed to serve as a reminder of how much the world, and Myanmar specifically, has lost as a result of COVID-19 and what could be at stake if the wildlife trade continues.

Local wildlife expert and researcher Dr. Nay Myo Shwe, who is featured in the video and other communications materials, said:

“Everything in nature has a purpose. Removing wildlife from their natural home harms our communities and our environment. We need to change our behaviour to ensure that Myanmar’s forests, rivers and skies will not be emptied of wildlife and that another pandemic is not added to the existing challenges in Myanmar.”

For this first-time collaboration between WildAid and WWF in Myanmar, the creators of the video - local agency Peach Marketing Consultancy - manipulated the body shape, fur and skin colour of a pre-existing 3D file of a monkey to more closely resemble a macaque species found in Myanmar. This allowed the agency to then generate images to create a stop motion animation, adding on 3D modelling. While commercials in Myanmar have previously been created using 3D technology, this is the first time it has been used for a wildlife-related behaviour-change campaign in the country.

When we remove animals from the wild, we are all at risk of paying a high price. We can prevent another pandemic.

Don’t eat, don’t keep, don’t trade wildlife.

Link for ‘The Price We Pay’ Video:

With Myanmar subtitles: https://youtu.be/OO28-hTXSZQ
With English subtitles: https://youtu.be/Qy1hg5AHlE8

View Full Press Release:

Myanmar: https://www.wwf.org.mm/press_burmese/?uNewsID=375175

English: https://www.wwf.org.mm/en/press/?uNewsID=375175