Photograph — Techmoran

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has urged companies to contribute to The Lion’s Share programme which is aimed at supporting wildlife conservation and animal welfare across the globe.

The new initiative requires major advertisers who feature an animal in their brand and marketing communication efforts to voluntarily donate a certain percentage of their profits or media budget for each campaign.

Advertisers like Kenya Commercial Bank and Nigeria’s First Bank, both of which use animals (lion and elephant respectively) in their logos are to contribute 0.5 per cent of their media spending for each TV, print or online marketing campaign featuring an animal. While media companies can choose to donate a percentage of revenue collected from adverts that feature animals on their platforms or donate media space to The Lion’s Share fund.

According to the director of UNDP’s Bureau for Policy and Programme Support, Abdoulaye Mar Dieye, the initiative is a coalition of the willing and anyone who feels compassionate enough to give back to the wildlife, which they are using to generate profits.

The UN plans to raise $100 million over the next three years under the fund, which is to be invested in initiatives and programmes that benefit animal welfare, conservation and their environments worldwide.

According to The East African, the campaign argues that although many corporate bodies use animals to advance their commercial brands and make profits, little or nothing is channelled back to the wildlife, most of which continue to be endangered due to human activities.

Data from the UN show that the annual budget for advertisers worldwide stands at about US$300 billion, a sum which advocates of The Lion’s Share think 0.5 percent is a tiny fraction of. Out of the spending, animals appear in approximately 20 percent of all advertisements in the world, yet they do not always receive the support they deserve.

“Everyone is commercially abusing the wildlife to advertise their products from airlines, hotels, banks, manufacturing firms, but despite this profit-making significance, animals do not always get the support they deserve,” Dieye told the Nation. However, the UN official explained the initiative is not compelling, rather it is creating moral compassion and awareness on the need to support wildlife conservation.

Launched in September 2018, The Lion’s Share Fund gives companies the opportunity to significantly contribute to the protection of wildlife conservation and animal welfare by raising money in a more sustainable way. Renown global companies Mars Incorporated, Clemenger BBDO and multinational measurement and data analytics firm Nielsen have partnered with UNDP to promote the campaign.

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