In most of the world, we have only small remnants of the wildlife that once existed. Africa has the most astonishing wildlife still. Now Africa is modernizing. In the next twenty years, Africa is modernizing economically, and one of two things is going to happen. Either Africa will be just like the rest of the world and it's say goodbye to wildlife. Or, we can learn from the mistakes made in the rest of the world.
With good planning, Africa can have cities, farms, factories, export processing zones. But if the political will is there, the huge areas - the Serengeti, the Okavango, the Kalahari, Kruger - these wonderful, huge places for wildlife could still be set aside and protected, and be treasures for humanity for many generations to come.
These magnificent species of Africa - elephants, rhino, lions, leopards, cheetah, the great apes (Africa has four of the world's five great apes) - this is a treasure for all humanity, and they are not for sale. They are not for trade. They need to be valued and preserved by humanity. We all need a global commitment to that.
We did a campaign here with New York Times. We had a great ad: "Today in America, someone will kill an elephant for a bracelet." We became sensitized in our society. Now there are four or five billion people in Asia who need to get this message. We need to use social media, print magazines, celebrities - anything we can to share this message. It's not cool, it's not okay. You are destroying beautiful animals. You are robbing a continent of its wealth. And you are hurting a lot of innocent people.
In the West, we got the message that it's not cool to wear ivory. It's not cool to utilize products from these wonderful species. They are not commodities. We need the whole world to join hands in getting this message now, particularly countries in Asia and certain communities that have not been educated about this. They have not had the campaigns that we had.
A lot of African wildlife is very big. If you're protecting the big stuff, you're usually protecting the small stuff, too. One of the main things we advocate for is for countries to set aside, even if it's fewer places, really big places, so that you can have viable populations.