Saving the Planet

Kenya is leveraging TikTok to promote biodiversity conservation

Tiktok - cleanbuild
Credit: Getty Images

Since its inception technology has always been a great enabler and even more so in this digital age. At the touch of a button, anyone with a smart device can share trending information with thousands of social media users across the globe.

Capitalizing on the ubiquitous nature of digital platforms that allows for such widespread interaction, the Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) recently announced its partnership with the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and the non-governmental organization (NGO) Conservation International to create awareness of the country’s rich and diverse wildlife.

The digital platform selected to spearhead this campaign is none other than TikTok, one of the trendiest social media apps, especially among the youth population.

With its popularity in Africa and the world, TikTok will capture what is known as the eighth wonder of the world- Kenya’s great wildebeest migration. The Chinese-owned short-form video app will broadcast the spectacular wildlife event LIVE to its users around the world to raise awareness around biodiversity conservation and inspire action towards wildlife protection across the globe.

At this time of the year, millions of wildebeest, zebra, and gazelle journey in search of food, crossing the grassy plains of Tanzania’s Serengeti to Kenya’s Maasai Mara where the grassland is much more fertile.

According to TikTok’s website, content throughout the LIVE will be curated by Jeffrey Wu- a renowned wildlife photographer. The session will see experts from renowned local organizations including African Wildlife Foundation, Maasai Mara National Reserve, and African Wildlife Foundation educate those tuning in on the Maasai Mara ecosystem, as well as the impact and role of tourism in preserving biodiversity.

Expressing delight at the partnership, Boniswa Sidwaba, TikTok’s Content Operations Manager for Africa said, “We are delighted to partner with Kenya Tourism Board, IFAW, and Conservation International to bring the Great Migration and the topic of wildlife conservation to our global community. Through TikTok’s LIVE feature, we hope to bring this global phenomenon closer to everyone around the world, connecting people with a shared passion for wildlife, nature, and conservation.”

Commenting on what the strategic collaboration means for Kenya as a center of tourist attraction, Betty Radier, Chief Executive Officer, Kenya Tourism Board, said, “We recognize the important role TikTok plays in raising destination Kenya’s brand visibility around the globe. We are always looking for strategic collaborations to position the country as a preferred tourist destination and this partnership is a great milestone. Kenya is a rich and diverse country, with an incredible wildlife offering which we want to highlight as well as protect.”

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