Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) : Global partnership formed to save Africa’s Elephants
Conservation groups and six African countries committed a three-year U.S.$80 million Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) action plan to strengthen security for elephants in their range. This Action Plan will bring together NGOs, governments, and concerned citizens to stop the slaughter of Africa’s elephants, which are being decimated due to poaching for ivory.
The Partnership to Save Africa’s Elephants was announced at an event convened by the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) in New York. The partnership is led by five “Commitment Makers”: Wildlife Conservation Society, African Wildlife Foundation, Conservation International, International Fund for Animal Welfare, and World Wildlife Fund - with “Commitment Partners” support by the National Geographic Society, African Parks Network, Association of Zoos and Aquariums, Frankfurt Zoological Society, Freeland Foundation, Howard Buffett Foundation, International Conservation Caucus Foundation, Save the Elephants, TRAFFIC, WildAid and WildLifeDirect. Nations joining in commitment include Botswana, Cote D’Ivoire, Gabon, Kenya, South Sudan, Malawi, and Uganda
The Commitment Makers and their partners commit to funding and facilitating partnerships to advance a new three-pronged strategy that will catalyze a global movement to coordinate and leverage influence, constituencies, and resources to protect key elephant populations from poaching while reducing trafficking and demand for ivory. Funding for this commitment has been provided by myriad public and private sources, including U.S., European, and African governments; along with multi-lateral institutions, foundations, and concerned individuals.
These funds will be used to support national governments to scale up anti-poaching enforcement at the 50 priority elephant sites including hiring and supporting an additional 3,100 park guards. In addition, anti-trafficking efforts will be increased by strengthening intelligence networks and penalties for violations and adding training and sniffer dog teams at 10 key transit points. New demand reduction efforts will be implemented in 10 consumer markets over the next three years.
Further, leaders from African nations led a call for other countries to adopt trade moratoria on all commercial ivory imports, exports and domestic sales of ivory products until African elephant populations are no longer threatened by poaching.
The commitment was announced at the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting underway in New York City. CGI’s 2013 theme, Mobilizing for Impact, explores ways that CGI members and member organizations can be more effective in leveraging individuals, partner organizations, and key resources in their commitment efforts.
Today’s announcement is the culmination of work by Secretary Clinton while serving as Secretary of State, as well as Clinton Foundation Vice Chair Chelsea Clinton’s engagement, who visited conservation sites on a trip with the Clinton Foundation to Africa this summer. Together, they have convened the NGOs and nations to ensure rapid progress to a solution to prevent the extinction of Africa’s elephants and the proliferation of the violence caused by the criminal syndicates wiping out the elephants.
In addition to the funds already committed, the partnership urgently seeks additional partners to provide $70 million in financial or in-kind support over the next three years to reverse the decline of Africa’s elephants.
African elephants are being lost at an unprecedented rate, and the demand for ivory shows no decline. Tens of thousands of elephants are being killed illegally each year across Africa with some 35,000 lost in 2012 alone.
(1) Global Partnership Formed to Save Elephants in Key Protected Areas - Posted by David Braun of National Geographic in A Voice for Elephants on September 26, 2013: HERE
(2) Global partnership formed to save African elephants in protected areas by Staff Writers - New York (UPI) Sep 27, 2013: HERE
Opinion: How China Could Decide the Future of Africa’s Elephants - By John Frederick Walker - The Chinese have always been clever with ivory.
Qing Dynasty craftsmen labored obsessively over “devil’s-work balls,” arresting carvings of concentric spheres nested inside one another, all coaxed out of a single piece of elephant tusk with infinite patience and incessant, tiny strokes of their scraping tools. These ivory wonders mystified visiting Western traders, who couldn’t figure out how they were put together. The current Chinese ivory market is equally intricate but far more troubling. State-owned enterprises compete with private ones, carving and selling legitimate ivory objects in a booming marketplace that’s also awash with illicit African ivory. Unlike Japan, which also has a legal market, China’s is attached at the hip to an evil twin—a huge illegal market thought to account for the majority of tusks chopped out of slain elephants and smuggled out of Africa. John Frederick Walker is the author of Ivory’s Ghosts: The White Gold of History and the Fate of Elephants - Elephant poaching, underwritten by seemingly insatiable global demand for ivory, is directly responsible for an unsustainable 25,000 elephant deaths a year. This crisis forces African governments and international wildlife groups to put resources that would normally go into elephant conservation toward anti-poaching units that are invariably outgunned. Find more...
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