Call for wildlife conservation illustrated through inspiring artworks from people around the world

Updated on 12 January 2021

For use of the media only;
not an official document.



Call for wildlife conservation illustrated through inspiring artworks from people around the world

Winners of UN World Wildlife Day poster competition announced

Geneva/Pretoria, 15 April 20163 winners, 10 finalists and 5 works by children chosen from over 300 entries to the UN World Wildlife Day 2016 (WWD2016) poster competition were announced today by the Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and the Department of Environmental Affairs of South Africa.

Winners of WWD2016 poster competition
Patrick George - United Kingdom Yang Lijie - China Nabil Mendjeli - Algeria

The CITES Secretariat is the UNGA-designated facilitator for the global observance of World Wildlife Day. The Department of Environmental Affairs of South Africa is the sponsor of the WWD2016 poster design competition and South Africa is the host country of the 17th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES (CoP17).

CITES Secretary-General, Mr John E. Scanlon, said: “The World Wildlife Day poster competition has helped to raise awareness about wildlife conservation, particularly the challenges facing elephants, in a very creative way. People from right across the globe have used their artistic talents to graphically express their support for wildlife, which is a great inspiration to all of us.”

Participants in the competition have come from all regions and from a wide range of ages, from children in kindergarten to retirees, from amateur art lovers to professional designers. Some entries are truly inspiring and very well illustrated the theme of WWD2016 – “The future of wildlife is in our hands”.

Ms. Edna Molewa, Minister of Environmental Affairs of South Africa, said:The Government of South Africa is pleased to sponsor the World Wildlife Day poster competition to help raise awareness of wildlife conservation. We look forward to welcoming the three winners to Johannesburg to witness CITES CoP17, where crucial discussions will take place around the regulation of the international trade in wild animals and plants.”

 “It was so much fun to be a judge on this wonderful competition. We had an incredible amount of entries - from all ages and backgrounds and countries. I was so happy to see so many children also to submit - they are the ones we need to think about when we are depleting the earth resources at such a pace", said Livia Firth, Director of Eco-Age, one of the poster competition judges.

The Government of South Africa will provide return air tickets to the winners to fly to Johannesburg in September to attend CITES CoP17.

The 6 judges collectively selected the finalists and winners. The judges are:

  • Livia Firth, Director of Eco-Age, a brand consultancy, representing the private sector
  • Alexandra Khamitova, an intern working at the United Nations, representing the youth
  • Richard Lee, WWF-International, an official partner of WWD2016, representing the civil society
  • Aloys Lolo, Geneva-based cartoonist, representing professional designers and artists
  • Edna Molewa, Minister of Environmental Affairs, Department of Environment, South Africa, representing the sponsoring government for the poster competition and the host country of CITES CoP17
  • John E. Scanlon, CITES Secretary-General, representing the organizer and UN partners for WWD2016

The key message of WWD2016 is that we, the human beings, hold the future of all wildlife in our hands; failure to take actions now will have immediate, sometimes devastating, consequences for species of animals and plants. The poster designs received by the CITES Secretariat communicated this message very powerfully through the use of images.

 “We sincerely thank everyone who has participated in this year’s World Wildlife Day competition and we warmly congratulate all of the finalists and winners”, concluded Minister Molewa and Secretary-General Scanlon.

See you in South Africa!

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Media contacts:

CITES Secretariat: Liu Yuan at +41 22 917 8130 or [email protected]

Department of Environmental Affairs of South Africa:  Albi Modise at +27 83 409 2871 or [email protected]


With 182 Parties, CITES remains one of the world's most powerful tools for biodiversity conservation through the regulation of trade in wild fauna and flora. Thousands of species are internationally traded and used by people in their daily lives for food, housing, health care, ecotourism, cosmetics or fashion.

CITES regulates international trade in over 35,000 species of plants and animals, including their products and derivatives, ensuring their survival in the wild with benefits for the livelihoods of local people and the global environment. The CITES permit system seeks to ensure that international trade in listed species is sustainable, legal and traceable.

CITES was signed in Washington D.C. on 3 March 1973 and entered into force on 1 July 1975.

Learn more about CITES by visiting or connecting to:

About Department of Environmental Affairs

The Department of Environmental Affairs is mandated by the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa to give effect to the right of citizens to an environment that is not harmful to their health or wellbeing, and to have the environment protected for the benefit of present and future generations. To this end, the department provides leadership in environmental management, conservation and protection towards sustainability for the benefit of South Africans and the global community.