Asia for Animals presents a unique opportunity to network, share your experience and learn from the world’s experts in animal protection and human behaviour change. Across Asia there are people making a real difference for animals. The conference gives these people a platform to have their voice heard and to access vital support.
Don’t miss this chance to refuel, get inspired and make new partnerships, against the spectacular backdrop of the Himalayas. After three days of fascinating talks and interactive workshops in the heart of Kathmandu’s old city, join us for a field trip to Chitwan National Park, one of the last strongholds for endangered mammals such as the Bengal tiger and one-horned rhinoceros.
Grace Ge Gabriel began her career in the media, but after documenting the rescue of nine Asiatic black bears from bile extractors, gave up her career in television to commit herself to protecting wildlife. Today she is one of Asia’s leading voices on animal protection, and has been the driving force behind the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) in China for over two decades.
As IFAW’s Regional Director for Asia, Grace has spearheaded numerous campaigns to reduce the commercial exploitation of wildlife, improve legal protection for animals and change consumer behaviour. Her achievements include establishing China’s first raptor rescue centre, anti-poaching operations to save the Tibetan antelope, protecting the habitat of China’s last population of Asian elephants, and assisting the development of China’s first Animal Welfare Law.
In a country where the consumption of elephant ivory, tiger parts, rhino horn, shark fins and pangolins drives global criminal trafficking and poaching of the species in the wild, Grace is a respected voice in the fight to reduce the devastating impact of the wildlife trade. She has testified before the European Union Commission on protecting wild tigers, the UK Parliament Environmental Audit Committee on escalating global wildlife crime and the INTERPOL Wildlife Crime Working Group on controlling global online trade in wildlife and wildlife products. Her holistic and precautionary approach of working closely with practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) to encourage the use of plant-based alternatives has earned her the respect of legitimate TCM practitioners in China and internationally. Over the years of campaigning, Grace has come to realise that ‘saving one species at a time’ is not a fast enough way to create change.
‘In order to protect species, we have to change people’s behaviour at every link on the trade chain’.
Recognising that the increasing consumer power of China is putting pressure on wildlife all over the world, Grace began to focus on campaigning for ethical consumption. A survey by IFAW in 2007 found that 70% of Chinese people were unaware that ivory came from dead elephants, and 83% of the people claimed they would not consume ivory if they knew. This motivated Grace to launch a massive education campaign to inform people about the true cost of ivory, a campaign that has since reached hundreds of millions of people. In 2013, an independent assessment found that the campaign had penetrated 75% of urban China, reducing the group with the most propensity to purchase ivory from 54% to 26%.
China’s recent announcement of a domestic ban on ivory trade was a defining moment in her career. She knows that awareness raising campaigns can erase ignorance but cannot stop greed. The only way to stop criminals who profit from the grey markets which provide laundering opportunities, create enforcement challenges and confuse consumers is by making ivory trade illegal in all circumstances.
‘Criminalizing ivory trade combined with vigorous enforcement and meaningful penalties stigmatizes ivory consumption, support demand reduction efforts as well. Sustained behaviour change can only be achieved when ivory possession becomes socially unacceptable’.
Grace has a Master’s degree in Mass Communication from the University of Utah. She is a founding member of the International Tiger Coalition. As an instrumental champion for wildlife protection, Grace has been featured in a number of books including ‘Wildlife Heroes: 40 Leading Conservationists and the Animals They are Committed to Saving’, ‘Blood of the Tiger: A Story of Conspiracy, Greed, and the Battle to Save a Magnificent Species’ and ‘Saving Wild: Inspiration from 50 Leading Conservationists’. Her blogs and articles on wildlife protection have been published in National Geographic, UN Chronicle, and other magazines and journals. She has been awarded for her pioneering campaigns in China aimed at changing behaviour for the conservation of wildlife.
‘Human beings are to independent action what cats are to swimming. We can do it if we really have to, but mostly we don’t… Instead, we do what we do because of what those around us are doing. So if you want to change what I’m doing, don’t try to persuade me- don’t try to make me- do anything. Instead, enlist the help of my friends…’
According to Mark, we are 'a super-social ape', existing to converse, to chat, to gossip. Applying this and other insights into basic human nature can help make us all better at what we do.
Mark has written several best-selling books including the award-winning and hugely influential ‘Herd: how to change mass behaviour by harnessing our true nature’ (Wiley 2007) and ‘Copy Copy Copy’ (Wiley 2014).
‘After working on the issue of animal welfare in China and other Asian countries for more than 20 years, I deeply felt that our movement needed to take political, social and cultural contexts into account. Therefore, the direct transfer of a western model of activism to Asia would not work and we wouldn’t be able to change people’s mindset to the necessary extent. That’s why, after being a devoted member of campaigning against animal cruelty camp for many years, I realized that we needed to take a different and more strategic approach to the problem.’
In 2006, Pei co-founded ACTAsia, an organisation which confronts the root causes of animal suffering in a country that arguably has the greatest impact on animals and the planet.
Pei has a masters degree in sociology with a focus on animal advocacy and believes the best way to end cruelty is through education. ACTAsia works with grassroots advocates across China helping them become more effective, whilst training veterinarians in animal welfare, and training teachers to deliver humane education. Their Caring for Life program has reached more than 51,000 children across China, and is demonstrating how children become more compassionate towards animals, the environment and each other. With positive impacts on society, ACTAsia is becoming accepted by the authorities and was the first educational organisation to be awarded by the Government as one of the ten most influential organisations in China.
‘My master said that the animal issue needed more promotion, so I, along with some lawyers, entrepreneurs and teachers, helped to start the Life Conservation Association in 1994, an organization whose members consisted mainly of Buddhist followers.’
The association was a major driving force in the movement that led to the passage of Taiwan’s Animal Protection Act in 1998, collecting more than 100,000 signatures in support of the Act.
In 2000 Chu founded the Environment and Animals Society of Taiwan (EAST), with which he has worked tirelessly to expose and denounce cruel customs and practices such as the ‘divine pig’ contest in which pigs are force-fed for years before being publicly slaughtered without prior stunning, mercy release, where captive wild animals are ‘freed’ to bring good karma (a practice which traumatizes and kills thousands of animals and decimates ecosystems) and Taiwan’s fur and bear bile trades.
‘Taiwanese have an inherent respect for animal life, but modernity and materialism have caused the old value system to deteriorate.’
A vegetarian, Chu realizes that moral preaching will not make others completely change their eating habits. Instead, after many years of investigative research, reasoned advocacy and behind-the scenes awareness-raising, Chu persuaded the government to establish more humane standards, such as mandating that pigs and cows either be butchered, or shot after they are rendered unconscious through electrocution or captive bolt guns.
Over the last 25 years, Chu has helped shape Taiwan’s humane development and its present-day progressive and humane policies. Chu has received a number of awards including the William Wilberforce International Award by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in 2011 and the National Humane Award of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (1999). For Chu, his ultimate goal is for EAST to disband, as this would mean animal welfare has matured and his efforts would no longer be needed.
Steven started his career as a criminal defense and personal injury lawyer, but upon reading Peter Singer’s “Animal Liberation’” decided to dedicate his career to achieving justice for non-human animals.
‘By 1985 I realized a Great Legal Wall divided humans from the other animals. On one side of that wall every human is a legal “person" with the capacity for unlimited legal rights. On the other side, the rest of the animals are considered legal “things” that lack the capacity for any legal rights at all. I was unable to protect the most fundamental interests of any of them. I decided to spend my life trying to change that. I figured it would take 30 years to prepare the first lawsuits. It only took 28.’
In the 1980s Steven was a pioneer in the creation of the discipline of animal rights law and has taught “Animal Rights Law” or “Animal Rights Jurisprudence” at the Harvard, Stanford, Lewis and Clark, Vermont, University of Miami, St. Thomas, and John Marshall Law Schools, and at the Autonomous University of Barcelona. He is a former president of the Animal Legal Defense Fund. Steven has authored four books, including ‘Rattling the Cage – Toward Legal Rights for Animals’ and ‘Though the Heavens May Fall – The Landmark Trial That Led to the End of Human Slavery’, as well as numerous law review articles. His work and the work of the Nonhuman Rights Project are the subject of the critically-acclaimed HBO documentary by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus, “Unlocking the Cage”, which follows Steven’s journey to litigate the first lawsuits that seek to transform the legal status of at least some nonhuman animals from “things” to “persons”.
‘We are on the cusp of changing the legal relationship between many nonhuman animals and humans. It's time to push harder, as hard as we can. And keep pushing. And keep pushing…’
With more than 16 years’ experience of development work, Faizan is passionate about helping people and helping animals. Faizan Jaleel lives with his wife, a senior veterinary surgeon, a cat and three street dogs. His career began in the humanitarian sector, promoting dairy farming, but after three years he stopped drinking milk because of the cruelty he had witnessed.
Since then it has been a most difficult but fulfilling journey into the world of animals, and we are doing our bit to contribute whatever we can, from writing to volunteering and pledging part of our salaries. We are childless by choice because when it comes to homo sapiens we think there are more than enough of them!
Faizan’s role requires him to spend a lot of time in the field dealing with equine owners, government authorities and providing overall strategic direction within the programmes. His approach involves observing and interacting with equines, and assessing the impact of Brooke’s work within the communities - listening to people’s problems and developing local solutions. Faizan takes great pride in seeing the poor, often marginalized equine owners become more confident and educated.
As a result of Brooke’s work, the practice of ‘firing’ donkeys in Maharashtra has completely stopped. This traditional technique of burning wounds or ailments using a heated iron rod causes a lot of pain, and was used on everything from colic to eye infections to lameness.
A follower of Islam, Faizan believes that eating meat in today’s world which provides a sea of alternatives is not in line with the teachings of Islam, and seeks to promote vegetarianism and a compassionate lifestyle.
Ignorance is a crime, seek knowledge and be an informed and compassionate being that is what we ought to be – all of us!
Khailee started building web products at age 15. His businesses focused on community organising and online market research, and his biggest campaign organised 120,000 stories from across Southeast Asia in six weeks to present a youth insight report to world leaders at the Youth Engagement Summit (YES2009). He sold his first company to Groupon only five months after its founding and his second, SAYS.com to one of Malaysia’s largest media companies two years later. He created SAYS.com on the belief that the new generation of consumers is primarily influenced by the content shared by their social network. Its social content distribution platform has influenced many successful, award-winning campaigns from companies such as Nike, Coca Cola, Unilever and Maybank.
‘All this because of the information and inspiration I got through the web! It makes me think of the millions of other people in markets around the world, waiting to write the next chapter of history with the companies that they will build. I get excited by the thought of being able to be of service to this potential. My hope is that the work I do can accelerate this global renaissance where ‘weapons of mass creation’ can be in the hands of everyone who will use it to do good.’
He studied business and marketing in California at San Francisco State University and University of California Berkeley, and University of Technology, Sydney. His success at a young age earned him the HSBC Young Entrepreneur Award (Best in Asia) and an invitation by the US State Government into the prestigious International Visitor Leadership Program, joining notable alumni like Tony Blair, Nicolas Sarkozy, and Mahathir Mohamad.
A strict vegan, Khailee is ‘powered by plants’ and lives by example a compassionate and environmentally conscious lifestyle.
‘… if I can live on earth without eating any animals or hurting any animals, if I can live on earth without needing to buy a ton of stuff all of the time, I’m sure that makes a difference to me at least. And the people around me. And so that’s where it’s going to be… I’ve installed the previous system so the new features fix a couple of bugs. This is the new release of my iOS app.’
Since the 1970s Dr. Rowan has been advancing the cause of animal protection through science, favouring informed dialog over confrontation. A ‘go to’ scientific voice on animal welfare, he has served in numerous board, advisory and consultative roles for government bodies (e.g. NIH, NIEHS, ILAR), private corporations (e.g. Shell, Iams) and non-profits (e.g. Michelson Prize, World Animal Protection, Morris Animal Foundation).
His work spans the breadth of animal welfare from seeking an end to the use of animals in experimentation, to mitigating human-wildlife conflict, to creating humane, sustainable models for the management of street dogs and cats around the world. In recognition of his significant contribution to animal protection he has received several awards including a Rhodes Scholarship and the Henry Spira Award in 2002 from the Johns Hopkins Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing.
Before HSUS, Dr. Rowan was the founder and longest-serving director of the Tufts University Center for Animals and Public Policy where he started the first graduate degree program in animal policy (1995). He chaired the Department of Environmental Studies at Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine. He was founding editor of the International Journal for the Study of Animal Problems and of Anthrozoos, and has authored and co-authored many books on animals used in research and alternatives, wildlife conservation, and on companion animal management.
He received a BSc (1968) from Cape Town University and an M.A. (Oxon) and D.Phil. (1975 – biochemistry) from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar.
In 1978, her article ‘Slaughter for Science’ was published in the Illustrated Weekly of India. The result was a total ban on the export of rhesus monkeys from India. Since then, she has spoken against many forms of cruelty from animal sacrifice to dolphinariums to Jallikattu (‘bull taming’).
One of Dr. Krishna’s passions has been to integrate animal welfare and nature into the education curriculum. She founded the ‘kindness kids’ programme which educates children about food and the environment, Dr. Dog, a pet therapy programme for children, and nature education programmes for teachers and students in the C.P. Ramaswami Aiyar Foundation of which she was elected President in 2013. She is founder-director of the foundation’s constituents including the award-winning C.P.R. Environmental Education Centre, a Centre of Excellence of the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Government of India.
Founder and President of the Blue Cross of Kanchipuram, Member of the Governing Body of the Blue Cross of India and chairperson of Humane Society International/India, Dr. Krishna has received several prestigious national and international awards for her work in animal and environmental protection and in preserving the cultural heritage of India. She has written extensively on issues concerning animals and is the author of Sacred Animals of India (Penguin Books India, New Delhi, 2010).
She has a Ph. D. in Ancient Indian Culture from Bombay University, where she was a Heras scholar. She is a Professor and a Research Guide for the Ph. D. programme of the University of Madras. She has held senior positions in WWF India, the Senate of the University of Madras, Central Zoo Authority, National Wildlife Board, National Environmental Council, Indian Council of Forestry Research & Education and the Committee for Environmental Orientation to School Education, Ministry of Human Resource Development. She is the editor of ECONEWS, Indian Journal of Environmental Education and publisher of the Journal of Indian History and Culture.
Manoj has personally led hundreds of rescue and confiscation missions, saving thousands of animals including snakes, owls, parrots and bears from the illegal wildlife trade. He became the primary intel guy for the government’s Wildlife Crime Task Force. In 2002 he founded Roots and Shoots Nepal, bringing awareness of the importance of compassion (for the environment, for animals, for each other) to thousands of school children. In 2013 Manoj became the Executive Director of the Jane Goodall Institute Nepal, an organization which amalgamates Nepal’s wildlife conservation with the newer practice of animal welfare.
Manoj strives to integrate conservation and animal welfare into people’s daily lives. In Nawalparasi district, on hearing of the massive numbers of vultures dying due to eating poisoned carcasses, he came up with the idea of a ‘vulture restaurant’ where villagers can easily dispose of safe carcasses. Vultures increased nine-fold in the region and the concept has been replicated across south Asia. In western Nepal, Manoj has been awarded for his efforts to save the last remaining Ganges river dolphins from extinction. After discovering their aquatic habitat was being poisoned by a chemical pesticide used for poison-fishing, his lobbying secured a national ban on the chemical and he is now seeking to make dolphin conservation key to ensuring the livelihoods of local people.
From suing the government to uprooting the companies harming animals (including US-funded breeding facilities exporting animals for experimentation) Manoj combines legal tools with public campaigns to change the hearts and minds of humans. As co-founder and president of Animal Welfare Network Nepal, Manoj led the campaign to bring an end to the Gadhimai festival – the world’s largest ritual slaughter of animals. Through his strength of reasoning, ability to inspire and by never forgetting to have compassion for humans – be it the snake charmer, the poacher, the butcher or the high priest – Manoj has influenced the behaviour of individuals, governments and entire communities.
Through extensive travel to developing countries Suzanne gained interest in transport animals and in 2005 joined the Board of the World Association for Transport Animal Welfare and Studies (TAWS), of which she is still an active member. She is also co-founder and Programmes Director of Change for Animals Foundation (CFAF) and co-founder and Trustee of the Aquarium Welfare Association.
In 2007 she became the Programmes Manager of the Companion Animal Unit at WSPA (now World Animal Protection) managing dog population and working equine programmes. A key part of this role was to develop and test participatory methodologies – working within communities to lead to a change in the way people manage and care for their animals. Suzanne led the move away from a heavy focus on mobile clinics towards prevention through participatory approaches. To reflect the broad applicability of the approach to other species she became the Technical Advisor for Human Behaviour Change Programmes. Since 2011, Suzanne has worked as an international consultant for animal welfare and human behaviour change and founded Human Behaviour Change for Animals (www.hbcanimalwelfare.com - [email protected])
|CHITWAN NATIONAL PARK|
|WHEN||We will depart on 6th December at 2pm, and be back in Kathmandu on 8th December at 2pm|
|COST||480 USD (accommodation in Tiger Tops) OR|
260 USD (accommodation in Guest House)
|WHAT'S INCLUDED||Two night’s accommodation, air-conditioned transport, all meals and activities including jeep safari, canoeing and jungle walk|
Chitwan is the oldest and most ecologically significant national park in Nepal, home to over 120 Bengal tigers, 600 rhinoceros, wild Asian elephants, sloth bears, gharial crocodiles and hundreds of bird species. We will visit some community-based conservation measures (including community approaches to reduce poaching and human-wildlife conflict) and learn about the more responsible side of elephant-based tourism.
Tiger Tops is a famous institution in Nepal, the first organisation to establish wildlife-based tourism. They are now also leading the way towards more humane wildlife tourism, for example they have recently ceased elephant rides and developed a more humane alternative to elephant safaris. Read more about their approach or visit their website.
As one of the few organisations in Nepal demonstrating a humane approach to wildlife-based tourism and a commitment to animal welfare, Tiger Tops was selected for a field excursion following Asia for Animals 2017. However, the organisers appreciate that the cost of staying at Tiger Tops can be prohibitive for many participants and have teamed up with Amaltari Bufferzone Homestay, a nearby lodge where guests can enjoy a comfortable room with a hot/cold shower, whilst still taking part in all activities at Tiger Tops.
|Tiger Tops Tharu Lodge (Photo Below):|
|Amaltari Bufferzone Homestay (Photo Below):|
We have had an amazing response to our Call for Abstracts, with over 150 abstracts submitted for consideration by the Scientific Committee. Judging by the quality of these abstracts, we can be confident that in addition to our keynote speakers, the conference will be jam-packed with mind-expanding talks and workshops. Asia for Animals 2017 promises to be hugely inspirational about all the changes that ARE happening for animals.
Meet the Scientific Committee… the people who are working hard to design the best possible programme:
|2 Dec 2017||1030 - 1300
1400 - 1630
|3 Dec 2017||0800 - 0900
0900 - 1700
1900 - 2200
Talks and Workshops
Welcome Reception (Nepali Cultural Evening)
|4 Dec 2017||0900 - 1700
1900 - 2200
|Talks and Workshops|
|5 Dec 2017||0900 - 1600
1900 - 2200
|Talks and Workshops|
Gala and Awards
|OPTIONAL FIELD TRIPS|
|6 Dec 2017||0800 - 1300
1200 - 1700
1400 - 1900
|Tour of Kathmandu valley animal shelters (morning)|
Tour of Kathmandu valley animal shelters (afternoon)
Transfer to Chitwan National Park
|7 Dec 2017||0600 - 1100
1400 - 1700
1900 - 2200
|Jeep safari of Chitwan National Park|
Dinner hosted by park warden and conservation officials
|8 Dec 2017||0600 - 0800
0900 - 1400
|Morning jungle walk|
Return to Kathmandu