United Nations, New York, USA, September 26, 2018 – Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, UNDP Goodwill Ambassador at the SDGs Media Zone to tackle the Wildlife Conservation and Animal Welfare today at the UN Headquarters in New York City.
Photos: Luiz Rampelotto/EuropaNewswire
By Britta Schmitz
UNITED NATIONS, November 4, 2018 – Animals are regularly used in a significant number of
advertises we see every day. Nine out of ten animals used in most adverts are either on the
endangered or threatened list.
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Australian creative agency FINCH and
founding partner Mars, Inc. recently launched a fund, The Lion’s Share, to support wildlife projects
around the world. Companies are asked to donate 0.5 percent of their media spent for each
advertisement featuring an animal.
“Animals have been used in adverts for 150 years, yet the animals themselves are not doing well …
This is what The Lion’s Share aims to correct,“ Adam Cathro, Communications Specialist for UNDP,
told Europa Newswire.
The Lion’s Share was launched at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2019, the
annual global event of the advertisement industry.
The idea for the fund originated with the Australian creative agency FINCH. “Christopher Nelius, one of
the company’s TV commercial directors was watching TV and saw an advert featuring Cheetahs
and that’s how he thought up the idea,“ said Cathro.
The initiative tries to raise money in a unique way. It will support conservationists, scientists,
education programs, and wildlife funds to compensate animals for their appearances in advertising.
The money raised will go to various projects, all related to animal and wildlife protection.
Upcoming projects include combating the illegal trade in ivory and rhino horn, securing one million
hectares of wilderness in perpetuity around the world, and saving the lives of the over 200 million
abandoned pets worldwide. A joint steering committee will decide which programs will be
supported by the fund.
One of the ambitious projects of The Lion’s Share is saving the world’s last 3,890 wild tigers.
According to the World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF), tigers are threatened by poaching and
habitat loss. 93 percent of historical tiger lands have disappeared, primarily because of expanding
human activity. Today, tigers still live on the Indian subcontinent, in Southeast Asia, in Russia, and
“If no action is taken, tigers will be extinct within the next ten years. Imagine a world where tigers
and other animals existed only at the zoo, in cages or on pictures,“ said Cathro.
Three projects have already been started. 360 hectares of land in critical orangutan, tiger, and
elephant habitats will be purchased in Sumatra, Indonesia. The second project is a communications
system in Niassa National Reserve, Mozambique, which helps fighting elephant pouching. Another
project is the Pan African Elephant Economics Study, which will also help to preserve wild
Mars is the first advertising partner of The Lion’s Share. Hopefully, companies around the world will
join The Lion’s Share to give animals the support they deserve.
“This small change in how companies act now could have a massive impact on the environment.
Last year, $591 billion was spent on advertisements globally and 20 percent of those ads include the
images of animals. So the potential is huge,“ said Cathro. “Animals are a fundamental part of our
world. Not only are they in ads, but they are also in films, in our culture.“
Participating companies in return will be allowed to use The Lion’s Share logo on their products, a
certification which could be compared to fair trade labels. In the future, the initiative could
potentially be expanded beyond the world of advertising.
“It’s the right thing to do and it’s simple and requires no change from the companies except signing
on and having a positive impact on the world,“ said Cathro.