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For Immediate Release:

1 Jun 2007

Conservation NGOs to Provide Laptop Computers to Developing Countries

THE HAGUE— At 12.00 on 3 June 2007 at the World Forum Convention Centre, Born Free Foundation and the Species Survival Network, globally recognized wildlife conservation leaders, will distribute fully-equipped laptop computers to government delegates from 30 countries to ensure full participation in the meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

“Some of the most imperiled wildlife species on the planet are native to the poorest countries and we must do all we can to ensure that lack of resources does not prevent these delegates from fully participating in the debate and decisions that could effect the levels of protection afforded threatened and endangered animals and plants. We are extremely grateful to our friends at the Dell computer company in England for helping make this project a reality” said Will Travers, CEO of Born Free USA and Chairman of the Species Survival Network.

The delegates, from countries spread widely across Africa and Asia, will receive new, multi-media laptop computers with wireless internet capability. SSN’s dedicated IT team have personalized each machine in the language of the recipient and downloaded all official documents necessary to participate actively in the weighty CITES deliberations.

Travers added: “Our single goal is to prevent the disenfranchisement of delegates from countries at the bottom of the United Nations Human Development Index. In fact, some nations with policies directly opposed to our own will receive these machines. Born Free and SSN welcome informed, intelligent debate, and with this modest donation of computer equipment, we advance that important dialogue.”

Over the next 2 weeks (June 3rd – 15th) CITES Parties will consider proposals affecting the global protection of African elephants, Asian big cats, great whales, North American bobcats, leopards, rhinos, sharks, coral, slow lorises, and a variety of plant and tree species.

Delegates from the following countries are slated to receive the computers: Niger, Sierra Leone, Mali, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Chad, Ethiopia, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, Zambia, Ivory Coast, Benin, Guinea, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Mauritania, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Yemen, Djibouti, Togo, Cameroon, Madagascar, Republic of Congo, Ghana, Bhutan, Lao PDR, and Cambodia. “We sincerely hope that we will be able to continue building capacity in developing countries for years to come and that other organizations, governments, and Treaty support bodies, will follow suit,” Travers concluded.

For more information contact:

Adam Roberts, Press Officer,
Born Free USA / SSN In The Hague: 06-5213 6798 E-mail:
Globally: 1-202-445-3572

10, Churchillplein NL-2508 THE HAGUE