Chenyue Ma (YK): International Women's Day CWT Spotlight

USAID Wildlife Asia is celebrating International Women's Day 2020 by highlighting some of our team members who are leading the charge on counter wildlife trafficking. Here we profile Chenyue Ma (YK), USAID Wildlife Asia Senior Program Officer.


How did you start working in Counter Wildlife Trafficking (CWT)?

When I was in my first year of college, I saw a poster of the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) in the Beijing metro featuring a dialogue between an elephant mother and her calf. In the poster the baby is excitedly telling her mother, “Mom I got teeth,” but her mother replies with sorrowful silence. The post touched me so much that I decided I would work in conservation after I graduated. And I did.

What has been your proudest moment in CWT?

An in-depth media story which I facilitated caught the attention of the government and led to extensive cross-country enforcement operations in China.

As a woman in CWT, how do you think we can bolster women in Counter Wildlife Trafficking? And how can we ensure greater roles for women in CWT?

I think just by doing what we are doing right now, we are contributing to gender equity in CWT. In IFAW, from disaster relief to policy advocacy campaigns, from frontline anti-poaching to in-field scientific research, we are seeing women doing all kinds of conservation work. We need to continue to celebrate these efforts and achievements.