NEW YORK, April 15, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The well-known science and Harvard Philanthropist, Jeffrey Epstein and his foundation, the Jeffrey Epstein VI Foundation, has been a long standing supporter of WildAid Inc., the international organization devoted to preserving wildlife and endangered species throughout the world. This weekend in New York, the Jeffrey Epstein VI Foundation salutes the tributes being made to those who were instrumental in banning shark fin within the Chinese government.
The guests of honor for the tribute by WildAid, the Nature Conservancy and the Pew Charitable Trust are billionaire Guo Guangchang, chairman of Chinese investment firm Fosun International Fosun International, Ding Liguo, CEO of Delong Holdings, Wan Jie, chairman of art publishing firm Artron, and Jim Zhang of the Nature Conservancy. The four men have been critical in getting shark fins banned throughout much of China.
In March 2011, Ding and Wan then a member of China's National People's Congress and the Political Consultative Conference respectively, proposed a legislative ban on the shark fin trade. The proposals were rejected, but a year later, Ding and Guo, who had joined the National People's Congress, persisted again with the support of over thirty Congress delegates for a ban shark fin consumption at government occasions.
By December 2012, a legislative ban was adopted to stop serving shark fin from government functions. And by December 2013, the Hong Kong government followed suit. Since then, WildAid reports that shark fin demand has dropped by more than 50% across China.
"The government plays a key legislative but also marketing role in raising awareness about endangered species," Jeffrey Epstein remarked who also supports China's recent embargo of commercial ivory.
Indeed, since the government's actions, major Chinese and Asian corporations are following suit, including the Starwood Hotels and Cathay Pacific.
Today, 100 million sharks are killed annually for their fins; mostly for mainland China. WildAid continues its campaign however with media giant, Sina Weibo, reaching more than 200 million subscribers.
The Jeffrey Epstein VI Foundation established the Program for Evolutionary Dynamics at Harvard University and continues to actively support the environment, conservation and endangered wildlife.