Travel Reporter, IOL | March 3, 2021
TikTok, with the support from organisations like the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Latest Sightings, is joining the call for greater focus on wildlife conservation in Africa by announcing the launch of the #TikTokWildlifeDay campaign.
Through this initiative, TikTok is offering its global communities a fresh, immersive, and edu-taining 24-hour wildlife safari sightings experience via TikTok LIVE, which will allow users to express their creativity while increasing knowledge on wildlife protection.
World Wildlife Day is observed annually on March 3. The day celebrates and raises awareness of the world’s wild animals and plants. It also sheds light on wildlife crime and human-induced reduction of species.
A statement by TikTok revealed that since the outbreak of the global Covid-19 pandemic, international tourism has severely diminished in Africa, effectively drying up a critical source of income for conservation.
The company said #TikTokWildlifeDay was launched to drive awareness around wildlife in Africa and to encourage people to visit and support wildlife areas when they can.
TikTok users can show their support by posting their videos using the official sticker to discover their “wild animal match”.
In addition to the sticker, users can tune in to watch various online safaris through TikTok LIVE via the Latest Sightings account on March 3 and 4.
In these virtual safaris, viewers will be taken on a special tour of four South African Reserves, including MalaMala Game Reserve, Mjejane Private Game Reserve, Care for Wild Rhino Sanctuary and Black Rhino Private Game Reserve.
TikTok Content Operations Manager for Africa Boniswa Sidwaba said that TikTok has always been committed to being a platform that inspires creativity and brings joy.
“TikTok is not only for entertainment, it is a space where the community can come to learn about things too. We want to use this opportunity to inspire a new generation to have a positive impact on the planet and those around them as well as shine a light on important conservation areas, many of which are currently open for visitors,” said Sidwaba.
UNEP’s Regional Representative for Africa, Juliette Biao Koudenoukpo, said UNEP supports TikTok’s efforts to boost awareness of the importance of conserving Africa’s biodiversity.
“As we slowly return to pre-Covid tourism levels on the African continent, we must ensure that conservation of wildlife is a priority,” said Koudenoukpo.