Target: Julia Marton-Lefevre, Director General of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
Goal: Support plans agreed on at the African Elephant Summit to protect elephants from being poached to extinction
Representatives from 30 countries came together at the African Elephant Summit, where new statistics were revealed by the Convention in International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) predicting that if poaching continues at its current rate, at least a fifth of the elephants in Africa will die in the next ten years.
According to the findings of Monitoring the Illegal Killing of Elephants (MIKE), which is run by CITES, an estimated 15,000 elephants were killed in 2012 across the 27 African countries that participate in the MIKE program. These findings led CITES to believe that a total of 22,000 elephants were illegally poached throughout the continent of Africa in 2012 alone, a frightening statistic. If these rates continue, local extinctions could occur throughout the continent at a rapid pace.
Ivory is highly in demand in Asia, and is the ivory trade is partly driven by poverty in Africa. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) came together with the government of Botswana to hold the recent summit, hosting representatives from Kenya, Niger and Zambia, Vietnam, the Philippines, China, and Thailand, among many others. Together they agreed upon a plan that will take a zero-tolerance approach to poaching elephants, while working with local communities on conservation efforts and working to end the demand for ivory. This plan also includes better law enforcement efforts, even creating a lab that will be able to track the origins of ivory samples that are confiscated.
These measures will be implemented by the end of 2014, according to the new plan. Please support the programs devised at the African Elephant Summit to protect precious elephant populations from rapid extinction.
Dear Julia Marton-Lefevre,
Thank you for your efforts, alongside the other members of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), to protect elephants from extinction in Africa. At the current rate, a fifth of all living elephants will be dead in ten years due to illegal poaching. In 2012 alone an estimated 22,000 elephants were killed throughout the continent of Africa, showing a rapid progression toward extinction for this beautiful and gentle species.
Your plans to protect elephants from being killed are noble and exciting. Thank you for your commitment to work toward an end to the demand for ivory, and for working with local communities in your conservation efforts. Working with law enforcement to implement stricter punishments for poachers, and inventing ways to track ivory in order to potentially catch poachers and convict them in court, are also important ways to address this urgent issue. Thank you for your efforts, and keep up the good work!
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Gregory Moine via Wikimedia