Behind petitions: Hong Kong imposed a ban on ivory trade

Skepticism about petitions of social organizations is maybe not very beautiful, but quite understandable thing. We also did not treat this with due attention, until…

«Members of the Avaaz community often ask me: «What happens after signing the petition?» In fact, a hell of a lot!»

It was the public letter of Ricken Patel, the founder of AVAAZ.

Ricken Patel,

After a quick look at the results of these «useless» petitions, has come the feeling that right before your eyes the fifth ocean has emerged: next to the Pacific, the Optimistic has appeared and changed everything. The new heading «Behind petitions» is here to carefully bring you its waves. Catch the first.

The last day of January became historic for the world community: in Hong Kong, more than 150 years the largest center of ivory trade, which means the murder of tens of thousands of elephants, was imposed a ban on its continuation. A key role in this struggle was played by the global web movement Avaaz. How did this happen?

1. The Avaaz Petition for the prohibition of ivory trade was signed by more than 1,000,000 community members.

«Almost immediately after the launch of the petition, the key legislator contacted us to discuss the campaign with Avaaz — we obviously could draw attention to the problem! Then last week we received an urgent letter from colleagues from Hong Kong that the government plans to hold a vote on the ban in five days. And we immediately set to work»:

2. Filling the social networks of Hong Kong with the video of WildAid Hong Kong with Chinese superstar Li Bingbing.

3. The publication of the announcement in the largest newspaper in Hong Kong with an appeal to lawmakers.

4. The appeal of thousands of Avaaz members to legislators with a call to support the ban.

5. The protest action during the voting, organized by WildAid and supported by Avaaz.

6. To top it off, one of the key lawmakers in favor of the ban, during the debates before the vote, showed everyone a huge print version of the Avaaz ad, making it clear that the whole world is watching the situation.

«The opportunity to hand a million votes of people in the debate before the vote gave a huge boost. The world supported us, and it played a role.»
— Hon Elizabeth Quat, Hong Kong legislator

«Thanks to all of us, poachers and traders are furious, and our majestic friends got a helping hand to survive. I am full of joy for the planet, and also (selfishly) for my family. On the eve I became a father, and now I have the hope that when my baby grows up, he can enjoy this miracle of watching elephants in their natural habitat.»

— Bert Wander, campaign director

We wish everyone to be as selfish as Bert!

Photographer: Sasin Tipchai,
Photographer: Sasin Tipchai,
Photographer: Jaroslaw Grudzinski,