WWF will be holding its signature fund-raising event, The Panda Ball, for the first time in Asia, on Friday 21 November at the St Regis Singapore. The gala evening, organized by Prestige Singapore, will support the WWF Singapore Conservation Fund, and focus efforts on raising awareness about the Coral Triangle and its contributions in the region, as well as the threats it currently faces.
Theme of the Asia Panda Ball
The Coral Triangle spans the seas of Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. Also referred to as the “nursery of the seas”, this area is the world’s centre of marine life. Funds raised at the ball will be allocated to a Singapore-based project with two main components: sustainable live reef fish trade and eco-tourism relating to the marine environment of the Coral Triangle.
Sustainable Live Reef Fish Trade
A public awareness campaign on seafood consumption, particularly live reef fish, will be launched. WWF Singapore will launch a seafood guide campaign to promote sustainable live reef fish trade, with the aim to increase the awareness of Singaporean consumers and corporations on the need to make a sustainable choice when purchasing seafood.
Destructive fishing practices, such as blast or cyanide fishing, pose a serious threat to the health of reef ecosystems and the long-term future of the live reef fish trade. But there is an opportunity for the Singapore-based live reef fish industry to play an important role in developing and implementing best practice.
Best Travel and Tourism Practices
Singapore, being a travel gateway to the Asia Pacific, is in a good position to play a key role in helping tourism as a positive force for conservation and environmental protection. This aspect of the project will use Eco-tourism Awareness Campaigns to make travellers and tourism businesses in Singapore more aware of opportunities to reduce the negative impact on the region. Responsible tourism and travel to prevent further erosion of the natural environment such as awareness of personal consumption of specialty foods, avoiding the purchase of souvenirs made from endangered species and making smart transport choices, are the key objectives of this project.
The Coral Triangle Network Initiative (CTNI)
A team of specialists and experts from the Coral Triangle Network Initiative (CTNI) is in town from 4 – 6 September 2008 to present the latest conservation and education work being done by WWF on marine conservation, the threats faced by the Coral Triangle’s rich resources of marine biodiversity and its economic and business impact on important industries such as eco-tourism and seafood trade.
“WWF Singapore is very pleased to have our team of specialists from the Coral Triangle Network Initiative to share their experiences and work for marine and coral reef conservation. This will help Singaporeans understand the underlying threats and problems faced by the marine life and coral reefs loved by many, and why this is the key focus of our Asia Panda Ball fundraising efforts this year,” said WWF Singapore Managing Director, Ms Amy Ho.
To raise funds for this very special part of the world, the ballroom will be transformed into a marine paradise with breathtaking images and rich colours of corals in line with the evening’s theme: ‘The Coral Triangle’.
The Asia Panda Ball will be attended by Guest-of-Honour, Professor S. Jayakumar, Deputy Prime Minister and Co-ordinating Minister for National Security. WWF is also honoured to announce the presence of Her Royal Highness Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands. The Dutch Royal Family has supported WWF since its inception. HRH Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands is the Founding President of WWF, a position he held from 1962 to 1976. The Prince also established the endowment fund The 1001: A Nature Trust in 1971, as well as the Prince Bernhard Scholarship in 1991, a funding programme which allows students to undertake environmental management studies and, subsequently, to pursue vital conservation work in their own countries. By gracing the first Asia Panda Ball with her presence, Her Royal Highness Princess Laurentien demonstrates her continued support of WWF.
Key entertainment highlights of the evening include a specially choreographed dance segment and a dynamic band performance. Another highlight of the gala evening will be a unique Panda gown on display for potential bidders. This elegant gown was created by the renowned haute couture Danish designer, Isabell Kristensen, based in Monaco and London. She has dressed some of the world’s most famous women including Nicole Kidman, Shania Twain and the Spice Girls. The gown has been worn by Miss Wittstock, partner of HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco, at the Monaco Panda Ball in April 2008 as a tribute of her support to WWF. Vintage wines, an adventure cruise and unique timepieces will also be part of the auction during the evening.
Held at The St Regis Hotel, John Jacob Ballroom (Level 1), The Asia Panda Ball will kick off at 7pm on Friday, 21 November 2008. Interested parties can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit WWF websites at www.wwf.sg (WWF Singapore) and www.panda.org/pandaball/ (WWF International). For registration and ticketing details, please contact Laura at email@example.com or Corine at firstname.lastname@example.org.