Lupita Nyong’o, on a return visit to her native Kenya, announced that she would be partnering with international conservation organization WildAid to advocate for a variety of issues, including elephant conservation and women’s issues, as well as acting and the arts in Kenya.
“I am proud of my Kenyan heritage, and part of that heritage is the incredible wildlife haven that is in our care,” Nyong’o said at a Tuesday press conference in Nairobi. “I ask the world to end the current elephant poaching crisis by being ‘Ivory Free.’ It is time to ban sales of ivory worldwide and to consign the tragedy of the ivory trade to history.”
Kenya banned ivory sales 25 years ago, though up to 33,000 elephants are still killed each year for their ivory, owing to an increased demand for the material in Asian countries.
“Brave and dedicated people are giving their lives to protect our elephants,” Nyong’o said. “They need all of our support, from people in the United States and Asia by not buying ivory, and from Kenyans in supporting anti-poaching by reporting wildlife crime. Poaching undermines national security and endangers jobs and community support derived from tourism.”