Marching together for the elephants
In the brief video above, Dr. Jane Goodall and Sir Iain Douglas-Hamilton ask the nations of the world to call for a global moratorium on the trade of elephant ivory.
In the last six years, elephant populations across the African continent have plummeted as a result of illegal commercial-scale poaching.
Tens of thousands of elephants are now brutally killed every year to satisfy insatiable consumer demand from New York to Beijing for products made of or containing ivory. Because of this, there is a very real risk that the world will lose African elephants forever.
This must stop. But it will require people everywhere marching together toward a common goal to bring this horrific and cruel slaughter to a halt.
When the U.S. government crushes its stockpile of seized ivory, it is an important first step in showing that Americans will not sit idly by while elephants are being pushed closer to extinction. The act of crushing tons of tusks, trinkets, and carvings into powder makes a powerful statement that there is no room in the American marketplace for this barbaric commodity. It is stirring to see such a bold effort supported by so many people around the world. And yet, more needs to be done.
As I noted recently during the Clinton Global Initiative’s press announcement where the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and other leading nonprofit organizations committed to saving the elephants, the profits from hunting down elephants and selling their ivory are far greater than the risks to the poachers and traders. This must change.
And we must educate consumers about the bloodshed and suffering of thousands of individual elephants that will continue as long as there is a demand for products made from or containing ivory.
Informed consumers must refuse to purchase these products and explain the situation to all of their friends. Governments around the world must enact laws to ensure ivory cannot enter the marketplace. And law enforcement officers and wildlife rangers must see that those who seek to harm elephants for their ivory are brought to justice.
The elephants’ future is up to us. Each of us is responsible for protecting them from harm. Please join me and IFAW in urging the U.S. government to ban the buying and selling of ivory in the United States, in order to ensure the existence of these iconic and highly intelligent animals for generations to come.
-- Jane Goodall