拒絕象牙琴鍵 葛萊美獎得主疾呼保育

摘譯自2015年4月17日ENS美國,紐約市報導;周念學編譯;蔡麗伶審校

象牙的利益之大,估計非洲地區每天有96隻大象遭受獵殺。身兼鋼琴家、歌手和作詞家的知名音樂人比利‧喬(Billy Joel),現身國際野生物保育協會(Wildlife Conservation Society,WCS)的系列新宣導影片「96隻象的警示」,並表示今後將不再彈奏象牙琴鍵。

2006年喬在演唱會上彈奏塑膠琴鍵。(來源:Xabier Martínez)

反象牙樂器 音樂應禮讚生命

「我們無法倒帶時光,但可以翻轉局勢,不要讓大象滅絕發生在我們這一代。」當電腦動畫做成的大象從象牙碎片中重生,喬的聲音向觀眾傳遞保育的訊息。

比利喬曾6度榮獲葛萊美獎、寫下33首全美TOP40單曲。自1973年首張專輯《Piano Man and  so far  sold》以來,全球銷量已逾1億5千萬張,躍升史上最賣座的音樂家之一。

去年,比利喬在自家網站上發表一封文情並茂為大象發聲的公開信,信中提到:「身為鋼琴家,深知某些鋼琴家喜愛象牙作成的琴鍵,但不等於就必須以每天屠殺96隻大象換取象牙滿足喜好。另有其他物質能代替象牙,但大象永遠無法被取代。」

「對音樂的堅持,再怎麼樣都無法當成殘害瀕臨絕種生物的藉口,音樂是用來禮讚生命,而非用來吹奏死亡的樂章。」

為國際自然保護聯盟「96隻象的警示」活動所作的廣告。(來源:WCS)

救救非洲象 立法、教育雙管齊下

不過,世界上大象的處境仍日漸危險。

國際自然保護聯盟在1996年把非洲象(Loxodonta africana)列入瀕危物種紅色名錄的瀕危級別,在2004年又將等級調高至易危級別(extinction)。

3月份在波札那舉行的保育峰會上,國際自然保護聯盟指出,非洲象數量從2006年的550,000隻降至2013年的470,000隻。位於東非的非洲象數量下降最劇烈,已從150,000隻降至100,000隻。

2013年9月,國際自然保護聯盟發動名為「96隻象的警示」活動,藉由禁止獵殺、走私、教育及嚴禁市場對象牙的需求,擴大支持柯林頓的全球行動計畫,一同拯救非洲象。

ThisisBonaFide.com 創建者、身兼獨立創作導演、設計家和動畫家的史帝芬‧哈波(Steve Harper),也無償為「96隻象的警示」活動出力,透過電視、廣播、平面數位媒體與戶外廣告頻道宣傳。

國際自然保護聯盟公共事務副執行長,也是「96隻象的警示」的導演約翰‧卡爾韋裏(John Calvelli)談到:「比利喬永恆不朽的音樂已是文化的象徵,也曾以此為許多重要事件發過聲,如今我們極力感謝他站出來助大象一臂之力。」

合作夥伴多達195個單位,其中包括橫跨45州的125座動物園,「96隻象的警示」已成功禁止紐約和紐澤西的象牙販賣,近期更支持加洲──僅次於紐約的第二大象牙消費市場──推動禁銷法案及全美其他地區的禁銷法案。

Pianist Billy Joel Raises His Voice to Save Elephants
NEW YORK, New York, April 17, 2015 (ENS)

Poachers kill an estimated 96 elephants every day in Africa for their ivory tusks, but now Africa’s elephants have attracted a powerful new supporter – the Piano Man, singer and songwriter Billy Joel.

Joel’s voice is heard in a series of new ads supporting the Wildlife Conservation Society’s 96 Elephants campaign.

As computer-animated elephants come to life from shards of ivory, Joel’s voiceover warns, “We can’t turn back time, but we can reverse this trend. Don’t be the generation that allowed elephants to go extinct.”

There will be no ivory piano keys for this six-time Grammy Award winner, who has scored 33 Top 40 hits in the United States, all his own songs. Since his first hit, “Piano Man” in 1973, Joel has sold more than 150 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling musicians in history.

Last year, Joel published a impassioned letter on his website in defense of elephants, saying, “I am a piano player. And I realize that ivory piano keys are preferred by some pianists – but a preference for ivory keys does not justify the slaughter of 96 elephants every day. There are other materials which can be substituted for piano keys. But magnificent creatures like these can never be replaced.”

“Music must never be used as an excuse to destroy an endangered species,” wrote Joel. “Music should be a celebration of life – not an instrument of death.”

Since 2004 African elephants, Loxodonta africana, have been classed as Vulnerable to extinction by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature on its IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Elephants were previously classed as Endangered in 1996.

Yet elephants are increasingly in danger. At a conservation summit in Botswana in March the IUCN reported that the African elephant population had dropped from 550,000 in 2006 to 470,000 in 2013. East Africa has seen the steepest decline, from 150,000 to about 100,000.

In September 2013, the Wildlife Conservation Society, WCS, launched its 96 Elephants campaign to amplify and support the Clinton Global Initiative “Partnership to Save Africa’s Elephants” by stopping the killing, stopping the trafficking, and stopping the demand.

Based at New York’s Bronx Zoo, WCS manages all four of the city’s zoos and the New York Aquarium. Founded in 1895 as the New York Zoological Society, WCS now works to conserve more than two million square miles of wild places around the world.

The “Take a Stand for Elephants,” campaign was conceived and developed for 96 Elephants by pro bono partner, Steve Harper, an independent creative director, designer and animator based in New York and founder of ThisisBonaFide.com.

The campaign will appear across television, radio, print, digital, and out-of-home channels and media, activated by Horizon Media, working on behalf of 96 Elephants.

Said John Calvelli, WCS executive vice president of public affairs and director of the 96 Elephants campaign, “Through his timeless music, Billy Joel has become a cultural icon and has spoken out for many important causes. Now, Billy Joel has taken a stand for elephants, and for that we are extremely grateful.”

Working with 195 partners including 125 zoos across 45 states, the 96 Elephants campaign has helped to ban ivory sales in New York and New Jersey and is currently supporting proposed bans in California – the largest ivory market after New York – and across the United States.

※ 全文及圖片詳見:ENS

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