week marks the unveiling of the charitable partnership between WWF-Hong Kong (WWF)
and The Asian Elephant Foundation (TAEF), joining forces for the first time to
raise awareness and support for Asian elephant conservation projects.
Elephant Parade is the world’s longest running public art expo, which raises global awareness of Asian elephant conservation. The global movement, now in its tenth year, made its debut in Hong Kong earlier this month and the parade will conclude with 31 of the original art pieces auctioned at a gala auction – where all proceeds will be channelled to support elephant conservation projects in the region.
As part of the charitable partnership, TAEF has pledged a minimum donation of US$60,000 or 12.5% of total net profit of the auction to WWF-Hong Kong, which will go a long way in helping them with their conservation efforts.
On 11th September, Barclays Bank will be hosting the Grand Gala Auction in aid of The Asian Elephant Foundation. And Sotheby’s will be auctioning 31 selected elephants to raise funds for the Asian elephant at the Island Shangri-La Hotel. The gala auction features elephant art pieces created by top celebrities and artists including: Sir Richard Branson, Bryan Adams, Diane von Furstenberg, Agnes B and Nadya Hutagalung.
Carmen Rademaker, Director of The Asian Elephant Foundation said:“Asian elephants are in danger of disappearing within the next 30 years from humans and habitat loss. Today, there are around 25-30,000 elephants and these figures are still dropping. Elephants are a keystone species and face a number of dangers, which unfortunately are mainly caused by humans.
“Anyone who has ever spent some up-close time with elephants cannot help but be moved by these amazing creatures. Through the grand auction the Elephant Parade Hong Kong exhibition we hope to raise funds that will make a real difference in giving the Asian elephant a brighter future. This builds on the awareness raising achieved by the education projects we have been running during the Hong Kong exposition.”
Adam Koo, Chief Executive Officer, WWF-Hong Kong added: “Asian elephants in the wild are threatened by extinction, the number of individuals is reduced to between 25,600 and 32,750. In the face of rapidly growing human populations, the Asian elephant’s habitat is shrinking fast. Confrontations between elephants and people often lead to fatalities on both sides, and poaching for ivory and meat is a widespread problem.
“WWF runs conservation programmes which focus on Asian elephants in seven countries, aiming to conserve the remaining populations and their habitats, improve anti-poaching measures and reduce illegal trade of ivory. Thank you for the support from everyone in the gala auction, together we can kill the trade that kills elephants.”
Dr Christine Loh, OBE, Official Patron of Elephant Parade Hong Kong and Under Secretary for the Environment of Hong Kong said: “Protecting elephants is a serious subject. Sometimes we can learn the most from such a subject when we’re engaged in a fun and arty manner. Elephant Parade does that exactly. I truly hope that the parade will attract many visitors who will be engaged with the exhibition and happenings, entertained by the fun and arty elephants and learn a lot about this important cause”.
Mike Spits, Founder of Elephant Parade said: “It’s been an ambitious project to bring our elephants to Hong Kong. We have been overwhelmed by the support from the people of Hong Kong who have embraced our exhibition to their hearts and thank the sponsors and artists that have done so much to make this exposition so memorable. Having run so many Elephant Parades in Europe and the USA, it is of course special to bring our worldwide movement home to Asia, where more needs to be done to invest in the future of the Asian elephant. Elephant Parade aims to raise awareness through fun, engaging public art and I can guarantee that after you install one or more of these elephants in your home, office or public space , they will always put a smile on you face for years to come. That in itself, is something money cannot buy. Let’s paint a brighter future for the Asian elephant!”
Elephant Parade Hong Kong
· Elephant Parade Hong Kong is the 15tH exhibition that has been organised around the world.
· Exposition elephants will be displayed in three Swire Properties Shopping Malls - Pacific Place, Cityplaza and Citygate Outlets.
· The top price for an original elephant statue at an Elephant Parade auction fetched £155,000. This masterpiece was created by artist Jack Vettriano for the 2010 London Elephant Parade.
Elephant Parade is the world’s largest open air art exhibition of decorated elephant statues that seeks to attract public awareness and support for Asian elephant conservation. Created by local and international artists, each elephant is a unique piece of art. Parades have been run in the following cities:
Emmen Zoo 2010
Dana Point, California 2013
The UK national tour 2013-14
Hong Kong 2014