Dereck and Beverly Joubert call for cooperation in a unique partnership against poaching between Africa and China at the Her Village International Forum in Beijing
In their speech at the Her Village International Forum in Beijing, Dereck and Beverly Joubert National Geographic Explorers–in–Residence, called for global cooperation between Africa and China in a unique partnership against poaching.
Motivated by the incredible poaching numbers in Africa, where five lions are killed every day, five elephants an hour and a rhino every seven and a half hours, it’s African problem; however, African solutions alone won’t solve it until demand from China (and the Far East) is curtailed. “If we can draw on the ancient wisdom of care, compassion, respect, trust and empathy that is so prevalent over 2,000 years of Chinese culture from dynasty to dynasty, we will find a common language,” Dereck said, “and if China can shutdown the demand, we can handle closing off the supply with anti–poaching and crime fighting.” Dereck added: “We, as Africans, will continue to fight this battle against poaching and pour billions of dollars into it — money that should be spent on alleviating poverty — but we cannot get there without a major commitment from China and its people. We need their ideas, their commitment and the closure of the commodity’s trade. Because, frankly, we have not done a terribly good job of it on our own.”
The 30–minute speech was a hard–hitting appeal to the Chinese people to join the conservation efforts and lead the way in rewriting the history of African wildlife. It was also an invitation to the women of China to play a catalytic role and lead with “soft power” as equals in this “Battle for Africa.”
Actor Jackie Chang sent a message of thanks to Dereck and Beverly for their efforts in the fight against poaching and Yang Lan asked them to co–sign a Referendum to call for the closure of all ivory and rhino horn trade into China with her and environmental lobby groups, Wild Aid China and SEE.
The Jouberts have lived and worked with wildlife in Botswana for over 30 years and have first–hand experience with the animals most under threat. Beverly said: “Many traders and collectors are hording ivory and rhino horn, banking on extinction. But we all have to bet against them and bank on the future, and the survival of these species.”