Committing to the Clinton Global Initiative, a milestone Partnership to Save Elephants

Partners in the Commitment to Save Elephants, including the author, stand with former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Clinton Foundation Vice Chair, Chelsea Clinton at the 2013 Clinton Global Initiative. c. WCS/Julie Larsen Maher.Although New York City is half a world away from the elephants we are striving to save, standing here today with Hillary Clinton and Chelsea Clinton, other colleagues from leading conservation organisations, and several heads of state, my resolve to protect these innocent, intelligent and social creatures has never been stronger.

We may look like business people at any other meeting, but we represent millions of citizens, activists and donors dedicated to ensuring the future is protected and safe for African elephants.

The most exciting aspect: we are all in agreement about a way forward.

Bringing our years of collective experience and knowledge to the table, we have mapped out a formal Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Commitment called the Partnership to Save Africa’s Elephants.

Together we will: stop the killing, stop wildlife trafficking and stop the demand.

Each partnering organization brings unique expertise and approaches to every aspect of the plan, which means we can have impact on each of these three critical areas.

The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) alone brings more than 10 years’ experience working with INTERPOL, a trusted partner since the inception of their wildlife crime program to stop wildlife trafficking.

Together we will: stop the killing, stop wildlife trafficking and stop the demand. © IFAW/A. Dinkelmeyer We also bring more than 16 years of working on wildlife product demand and other animal issues in China, as well as our work within African, European and US markets to stop demand for wildlife products, including elephant ivory.

The Partnership to Save Africa’s Elephants is not a paper tiger, this is a working team. We will share information, measure whether our activities are having impact, and we will learn, modify and improve our efforts.

We have done the math, an investment of $80 million is needed to make this commitment work: to succeed in stopping the killing, stopping wildlife trafficking and stopping demand.

And through our membership in the Clinton Global Initiative, I am confident we will find the needed fiscal support.

My focus now is to bring to bear all of IFAW’s expertise and earned trust to promote continued collaboration among animal organizations, governments and international agencies.

IFAW is committed to keeping our supporters and partners informed as we work together to protect elephants.  I will keep you regularly updated on our efforts for the animals.


For more information about our efforts to protect wildlife, visit our Stop Wildlife Crime campaign page.

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Azzedine Downes,IFAW President and CEO
President and Chief Executive Officer
Céline Sissler-Bienvenu, Director, France and Francophone Africa
Director, France and Francophone Africa
Dr. Elsayed Ahmed Mohamed, Regional Director, Middle East and North Africa
Regional Director, Middle East and North Africa
Dr. Maria (Masha) N. Vorontsova, Senior Advisor to the IFAW Marine Conservation
Senior Advisor to the IFAW Marine Conservation Program
Faye Cuevas, Esq.
Senior Vice President
Grace Ge Gabriel, Regional Director, Asia
Regional Director, Asia
Executive Vice President
Executive Vice President
Matt Collis, Director, International Policy
Director, International Policy
Pauline Verheij, Program Manager, Wildlife Crime
Program Manager, Wildlife Crime
Rikkert Reijnen, Program Director, Wildlife Crime
Program Director, Wildlife Crime
Country Representative, Germany
Country Representative, Germany
Staci McLennan, Director, EU Office
Director, EU Office
Tania McCrea-Steele, Project Lead, Global Wildlife Cybercrime
Project Lead, Global Wildlife Cybercrime
Vivek Menon, Director of IFAW partner, Wildlife Trust of India
Consulting Senior Advisor to the CEO on Strategic Partnerships & Philanthropy