African Elephant Coalition launches #SupportAppendixI campaign for elephants

African Elephant Coalition (AEC) members launched an emergency appeal at their meeting in Montreux, Switzerland. An urgent appeal was recently made in Montreux by governmental representatives of the 29 member states of the African Elephant Coalition (AEC) in anticipation of the CITES 17th Conference of Parties (CoP17) to protect all African elephants.

Led by Kenya and Burkina Faso, these countries hope to seize the last chance to definitively protect the species from the ivory trade. Of the countries involved, twenty-six are still home to populations of wild elephants.

To this end, the Coalition wrote five proposals that aim to disrupt the ivory supply chain and consequently decrease ivory trafficking, which is facilitated by the fact that ivory trading is legal in many countries.

These proposals will be submitted to the highest decision-making body of CITES, the Conference of Parties. The latter will convene from September 24th to October 5th in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The outlook for African elephants could potentially improve greatly if two-thirds of the Parties participating in the CoP17 were to vote for one of the Coalition's flagship proposals: extending the same level of protection enjoyed by populations of elephants in other African countries to the populations in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana, and Namibia; namely, adding them to CITES Appendix I in order to outlaw any international trade in the animals or their parts (for example, ivory).

However, the future of African elephants could become much bleaker without a two-thirds majority. The proposal has already proven divisive for the Parties and has not garnered the hoped-for unanimous support of European Union member states. Only a few have responded to the AEC's appeal; France, for example, stated it was aware that "it is five minutes to midnight for the African elephant."

It is imperative for CITES CoP17 to give African elephants a second chance.

From left to right in the photo: the President of the AEC and representative of Kenya, the Vice-President of the AEC and representative of Burkina Faso and the representatives of Nigeria and Côte d'Ivoire.

Stand by the member states of the AEC in calling for CITES CoP17 to protect all African elephants by participating in the #SoutenezAnnexeI campaign (#SupportAppendixI) launched by the Coalition and by sharing it on social media.

  1. How to take part:
  2. Print the visual (or use a blank page on which you write #VoteAppendixI)
  3. Take a picture of yourself with it
  4. Spread it on social networks using the hastag #VoteAppendixI

Encourage your friends and family to take part in these efforts.

I am counting on you.

--CSB

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