Urgent appeal to EU States: destroy your confiscated ivory stockpiles

Confiscated ivory tusks from a baby elephant and an adult elephant are seen as part of an illegal shipment of ivory from Ivory Coast in Africa at the Hong Kong Customs & Excise Department Ports and Maritime Command Centre, Kwai Chung, Kowloon, Hong Kong, 03 October 2013.

IFAW has joined with 10 other NGOs to urge EU member states to destroy their ivory stockpiles.

It’s highly unusual for so many NGOs to speak with a single, unified voice, but as the slaughter of elephants hits new crisis levels it’s clear that everyone including NGOs, governments and individual citizens must take action.

IFAW believes that ivory destruction is an important signal to the world. The destruction of a stockpile - no matter how big or small - highlights the plight of tens of thousands of elephants that are being killed each year to supply the traffickers.

RELATED: Hong Kong answers the call to destroy ivory

Each event offers the opportunity to educate consumers that in buying ivory they are putting elephants’ lives and possibly the future of the species at risk. Such exposure contributes greatly to increasing awareness and reducing demand.

The destruction of European ivory stockpiles will encourage governments in elephant range states, where stockpile thefts have been a problem, to follow suit. It will demonstrate solidarity with African and Asian countries in their fight against elephant poaching and illegal ivory trade.

The last six months have seen countries take significant steps in the battle to save the world’s elephants.

We have seen solid commitments from countries such as the US and the UK to fund measures to protect elephants, as well as commitments from the European Commission and the recent European Parliament Resolution for a Wildlife Trafficking Action Plan.

The US and China have highlighted their commitment by publicly destroying their seized ivory. Hong Kong just announced its intentions to destroy the largest ivory stockpile yet. France is soon to follow, and we understand other European countries are also considering such action.

As a member of the Clinton Global Initiative, the Coalition Against Wildlife Trafficking and other regional bodies with similar goals, IFAW is proud to partner with such organisations who share our aim for a world free from the threats of poaching.

--SS

For more information about our efforts to end the trade in elephant ivory, visit our campaign page.

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Experts

Céline Sissler-Bienvenu, Director, France and Francophone Africa
Director, France and Francophone Africa
Dr. Cynthia Moss, IFAW Elephant Expert
IFAW Elephant Expert
Grace Ge Gabriel, Regional Director, Asia
Regional Director, Asia
James Isiche, Regional Director, East Africa
Regional Director, East Africa
Jason Bell, Program Director, Elephants Regional Director, South Africa
Program Director, Elephants, Regional Director, South Africa
Peter Pueschel, Director, International Environmental Agreements
Director, International Environmental Agreements
Vivek Menon, Director of IFAW partner, Wildlife Trust of India
Regional Director, South Asia