Today ADMCF and A.L.A.N, a collective art group, launch a street art campaign to alert the public to global illegal wildlife trade and build support for passage of a bill to aid the investigation of criminals behind the crime. The innovative city-wide mural campaign named “Break the Chain” uses Augmented Reality (AR) to bring to life paintings of animals trafficked through Hong Kong such as rhinos, pangolins, sharks.
Using Instagram filters, the project will bring to life murals depicting critically endangered species. We aim to build an emotional connection with the public and awareness of the biodiversity we are at risk of losing via the illegal wildlife trade. The campaign also aims to raise public support for a Members Bill currently being considered by the government to incorporate wildlife crime offences into Hong Kong’s Organised and Serious Crimes Ordinance (OSCO).
Elevating wildlife crimes to OSCO is crucial in deterring wildlife criminals and giving law enforcements greater powers to bring wildlife traffickers to justice.
The AR will allow its audience to observe and interact with endangered species such as Rhinos on at least eleven walls across the city, with a further wall being painted by concerned students from German Swiss International School.
As part of the campaign and to support passage of the bill, ADMCF aims to collect 10,000 + signatures from concerned citizens. The petition can be accessed via Breakthechain.link, a mini-site accessed via QR codes on the murals.
Hong Kong is a global wildlife trafficking hub and current laws do not deter the trade. In 2018, 2019, 2020, wildlife seizures in the city reached new peaks. Across 1,680 seizures, local enforcement authorities seized over 929 metric tons (MT) of wildlife valued at over HK$358 million. Everything from live reptiles and birds to ivory, rhino horn and pangolin scales are trafficked through our city.
Globally we face a biodiversity crisis with an estimated 1 million species at risk of extinction, with potentially devastating impacts on our ecosystems, according to the United Nations (UN). The UN estimates the global illegal wildlife trade to be worth between $7 billion and $23 billion a year, making it one of the most profitable criminal enterprises globally.