By Anna Emmett
One of Africa’s defining characteristics is its awe-inspiring wildlife, but the harsh reality is that many of the leading species are facing extinction. From the extravagant elephants to those cheeky chimps, populations are seeing a rapid decline in numbers, primarily due to poaching and habitat destruction.
So what can we do to prevent this tragedy? Well, while one person can’t change the world, you can help raise awareness and inspire change through encouraging the conversation. The more people openly involved in the discussion surrounding the importance of African wildlife conservation efforts, the more these efforts will receive the necessary public support to make a positive change. So with that in mind, today we look at some ways you can begin encouraging the conversation, doing your part to preserve Africa’s greatest treasure – its wildlife.
Social media is your best friend
Nowadays, just about everyone is on social media. From Instagram to Facebook, the beauty of social platforms lies in their ability to instantly connect and communicate with family, friends and strangers all over the globe.
Make the most of this by starting those conversations around the important issues facing Africa’s wildlife. Share relevant news articles, fundraising efforts and groups or pages to your friends and followers, promoting interaction with informational outlets that will better advise readers of the problems. Remember, the aim here is to raise awareness, so even just one like, favourite or click should be considered a small step forward towards a better Africa.
Wear it with pride
For the quirky, stylish and creative amongst you, consider subtle wildlife-inspired fashion features. Though this may seem a little out of the box, that’s exactly the point – it’s a talking point that can lead to the wider conversation!
As a mainstream fashion staple for years, our advice would be to avoid animal print, as this is unlikely to arouse any questions. Instead, one idea is to wear slogan and charity t-shirts loudly and proudly, advertising the charity’s efforts everywhere you go.
For those looking for a sprinkle of extra glamour, incorporate eye-catching animal-inspired jewellery into your outfit. From elephant necklaces to leopard rings, not only do these sparkly, stylish accessories look beautiful, but their unique quirkiness is bound to get people asking all about them. Utilise the opportunity by telling them exactly why you’re wearing them, once more opening the conversation to the wider problem of African wildlife preservation efforts.
Perhaps the best way to encourage the conversation is to lead by example. Getting involved in the efforts directly will allow you to encourage the conversation with friends, family and fellow enthusiasts alike by giving you an instant talking point.
There are many different ways you can get involved, with something to suit everyone. There are many conservation charities for which you can fundraise for from home, so get creative with ways you can raise money (while getting as many others involved as you can in the process!).
For the adventurers amongst you, nothing will help boost your desire to make a change more than experiencing the problem first hand. Consider booking an African safari for a once in a lifetime experience that will help you understand the dire status of this crisis on a more emotional level, as well as an intellectual level by taking advantage of your tour guide’s extensive wildlife knowledge.
Together, we can make a change. Encouraging the conversation about the African wildlife crisis is a vital first step to ensuring we protect the continent’s natural beauty and make for a better Africa for human and animal alike.
Anna Emmett is the owner of Henryka Jewellery, specialising in hand-crafted, unique silver, gemstone, and amber jewellery that’s inspired by the natural world.