Saturday, May 14, 2011

Body Shop & TRAFFIC to Help Wildlife

THE Body Shop, the global retail franchise of naturally inspired beauty and cosmetics products, has teamed up with TRAFFIC Southeast Asia, a wildlife trade monitoring network, to build awareness among Malaysians in relation to the importance of preserving and conserving wildlife. Dubbed "Where's My Mama?", the campaign has countless young crazy animals at heart whilst they are orphaned each day when their mothers are captured or slaughtered for their medicinal value or to be kept while pets. Besides the online campaign by TRAFFIC on its Facebook page, the organisation is providing materials to The Body Shop to draw attention to the animals at the mad that are in need of protection. The Body Shop hopes to touch the hearts of any 700,000 people who walk into its stores on a monthly basis. Its staff have been trained to disseminate information of the campaign to patrons. Rampai Niaga Sdn Bhd managing director Datin Mina Cheah-Foong said she hopes the materials will make people sit up and recognise the lost faces of the three chosen species of animals that will grace the paper bags, postcards and posters placed at The Body Shop's 58 stores at the peninsula. Rampai Niaga is the franchise holder of The Body Shop in Peninsular Malaysia. The three chosen animals are the Malayan sun bear, the Malayan tiger and the Bornean orang-utan.

"It's a kick off point to get people to consider the impact of their purchases or the animals they see kept as pets at the pet shops or at their friend's house, or the exotic meat that's being served at restaurants where they dine," she said, adding that the latest campaign was a natural progression from its previous "Save Temenggor" campaign. Cheah-Foong said the preservation of wildlife that the country is known for is merely as crucial for the tourism industry, citing the decreasing sightings of the leatherback sea turtles at the East Coast when an example of a dying charm. "Malaysia is so concerned concerning economical development, gross domestic product growth, as a first class nation that we forget that if we were to move up, we need to take everything along with us. "Where are our animals? What's happening to them? If we do not start doing something now, we will be losing a part of our heritage - not plainly for ourselves but for the whole world," she added. Stemming from The Body Shop International's policy of not testing its cosmetic products and ingredients on animals, Cheah-Foong said the latest campaign was not done as it was fashionable. "We do it since it has to be done," she said, expressing hopes that Malaysians will feel a sense of ownership towards wildlife and are moved to take action. TRAFFIC Southeast Asia regional director Dr William Schaedla said the illegal pet trade at the region is an enormous underground industry. "The public are encouraged to call the telephone number stated on The Body Shop postcards and paper bags as they spot something not right," Schaedla said. The hotline is managed by the Malaysian Conservation Alliance for Tigers - a coalition of wildlife conservation bodies.

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