Elephant lovers worldwide say “no!” to killing elephants for ivory
During the last two weeks, International Fund for Animal Welfare staff in France, Germany, the Netherlands, United Kingdom and other European Union countries; Australia and the United States handed over the signatures of nearly 290,000 IFAW supporters to government officials demanding action to save elephants from poaching and illegal ivory trade.
The handovers are taking place ahead of the upcoming meeting in Geneva of the Standing Committee of the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), which is the body that banned the global commercial ivory trade in 1989, but has since allowed limited ivory trade to continue.
The CITES Standing Committee is the body that ‘runs’ CITES. Made up of officials from governments around the world, it provides policy guidance and drafts resolutions for consideration by the Conference of the Parties (to CITES). The meeting this month includes addressing issues of elephant conservation, including illegal killing of elephants and the ivory trade.
In 2011, more than 23 tons of illegal elephant ivory was seized by law enforcement officers.
2012 is shaping up to be no different, and for the first time in many years, widespread elephant poaching is being reported across the entire elephant range in Africa, including among populations in Southern Africa that were previously thought to be safe.
IFAW’s recent investigation into the Chinese ivory trade found that since 2008, when CITES gave the go-ahead for the legal sale of ivory stockpiles by four southern African countries to China and Japan, there had been an extraordinary surge in the numbers of elephants being killed for their ivory.
This elephant killing crisis cannot be ignored, and IFAW experts will be on-hand at the meeting to help make sure any decisions made by country delegates are in the best interests of elephants and their long-term survival.
The millions of IFAW supporters around the world who have spoken out for elephants in the last few years cannot be ignored, either.
The CITES Standing Committee meeting will run from 23 July to 27 July, 2012, so stay tuned for updates and briefings.