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Mark Peters : May 10th 2007 - 20:00 CET

WWF and Canon Europe helps to save the polar bear

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CanonWWF and Canon Europe helps to save the polar bear : Canon Europe, world-leader in imaging solutions, and World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the global conservation organisation, have announced increased collaboration to support the tagging and tracking of individual polar bears in the Arctic region. Building on Canon’s long-term support of World Wildlife Fund as a Conservation Partner since 1998, the new agreement ensures that more polar bears will be tagged in 2007 and 2008 than ever before, enabling WWF to significantly increase the amount of valuable scientific information it can collect on the polar bears. The movements of selected polar bears can be followed on the new improved World Wildlife Fund Canon Polar Bear Tracker website.
WWF and Canon Europe helps to save the polar bear Polar Bear Tracker website
This website was originally launched by WWF’s Arctic Programme and the Norwegian Polar Institute in 2002 to monitor and track the movements of radio-collared polar bears via satellite on the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard. Launched today on the WWF-Canon Polar Bear Tracker website is the ‘Save the Polar Bear’ children’s microsite, a groundbreaking undertaking aimed at educating children aged 7-11 years about the environmental impact of climate change. The website will have an active rollout in 13 different countries across Europe.

Global warming - Polar bears
The polar bear has an extremely high profile globally as a key indicator of global warming, struggling to survive in one of the most fragile and beautiful regions on our planet, the Arctic. By focusing on the plight of the polar bear and the threat to its habitat, the educational microsite aims to educate young children about the issues and challenges of climate change in fun and engaging ways that also teaches them how they can personally make a difference to reducing their own impact on the environment.

Polar Bears

Arctic environment - Interactive web experience
The microsite provides a unique, interactive web experience for kids and features educational games, trivia and fact sheets themed around the Arctic environment. It is ‘hosted’ by two animated polar bear cubs called ‘Auro’ and ‘Borea’ who interact with children as they move through the activities on the microsite. As well as providing educational fun for children, teachers and parents are also encouraged to get involved through the provision of downloadable Teachers’ Packs and resources for parents.

Canon digital cameras and printers
To encourage repeat visits, the microsite boasts a range of exciting prizes that will be awarded to children who register to play games and complete tasks online. Children that top special ‘Snowball Leagues’ at the end of each month in 2007 stand the chance of winning the latest Canon digital cameras and printers, with a grand prize winner in each European territory winning prizes for their school at the end of the year.

Canon World Wildlife Fund conservation partner
Paul Steele, WWF International’s Chief Operating Officer said: “Canon Europe was our first-ever conservation partner and we are very grateful to the company for its ongoing support. We are particularly thrilled to be partnering with Canon Europe to undertake our first ever pan-European educational campaign for children. With Canon’s help, we hope to be able to reach the hearts and minds of children so that future generations will have the knowledge and impetus to make the necessary changes in their lifestyles to help conserve the environment.”

New solutions to future environmental challenges
He continued: “Canon Europe is taking positive steps towards assuming a position of environmental leadership. This project is another strong example of its commitment to this goal and furthermore demonstrates how, by working together we are able to fulfil our mutual objectives. Ongoing dialogue with Canon to help the company find new solutions to future environmental challenges remains a key element of our partnership.”

Polar Bear

Polar bear - Climate change - Environmental consciousness
James Leipnik, Chief of Communication and Corporate Relations at Canon Europe, said: “Climate change and the associated issues of global warming and environmental consciousness are of crucial importance to the people of Canon, both as members of a socially responsible company and as individuals. We are proud to be supporting this important project as it has strong synergies with our corporate philosophy of Kyosei - which means living and working together for the common good.” He continued: “By working with the WWF to address some of the key challenges of environmental sustainability through better understanding, we hope to engage as wide an audience as possible - from children to their parents and teachers - and encourage them to do their part for the environment.”

Canon projects
As a Conservation Partner of World Wildlife Fund since 1998, Canon has proudly supported a number of previous WWF initiatives, including a toner cartridge recycling programme to raise funds for WWF’s Global Freshwater Programme, involvement in WWF Canon PAN Parks, a yearly employee volunteering project to protect Europe’s wilderness, and as the title sponsor of the WWF-Canon Photo Database, an important online communications tool for the WWF Network. Further development of the microsite will continue in 2008, with the addition of new attractive features, games and educational material.

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