Thanks to a Twitter link shared by BTI Beauty, I came across the iWorry campaign to “Say NO to Ivory.”
Like many of you probably have, I have been concerned about the news that elephant poaching has increased dramatically as the Chinese economy has boomed. (If you haven’t heard, read more here.)
If you have a moment, I urge you to 1) sign the iWorry petition and 2) email your country’s CITES representative. I have pasted my modified version of iWorry’s template letter below (I corrected some grammar and made it less emotional). And here is a direct link to the email addresses of the country representatives.
(Please note that I did not fact-check iWorry’s statistics, and I have not investigated the efficiency of iWorry’s handling of donations, since I didn’t donate to the campaign.)
Subject: Ban Sale of Ivory
Elephants are the largest land mammal walking the earth and amongst the most intelligent. It is absolutely unacceptable that each year up to 38,000 elephants are killed solely for their ivory. In as few as 15 years, elephants could be completely extinct.
As a CITES representative, you are responsible for determining the protection of these vulnerable animals. As much as 75% of ivory is being sold and bought by the Chinese and a kilogramme of ivory sells for as much as $1,500 in the Far East. While the actual poacher can now expect to earn a staggering $150 a kilo, up from a sum closer to $4 a kilo just 4 years ago! Therefore, even a small set of 10kg tusks could bring a poacher the equivalent of $1,500, far more than casual workers earn in a year. A big bull elephant carrying 100kg of ivory would bring in a fortune – the incentive is substantial.
I am urging you as a member of the Animals Committee to recognise the urgency to protect Africa’s elephants in your decision-making. There must be a permanent ban on the sale of ivory both internationally and within nations if we are to see a future with elephants.
There must be more public awareness campaigns in place to reduce demand. Similarly to the drug trade, if there are consumers willing to pay excessive prices for products, poachers will find a way to get the product to the buyer. The ethical issues which run as an undercurrent throughout these daily activities need to be heightened, and we can only do this through public awareness campaigns and effective words from expert speakers. It is also critically important that CITES place an emphasis on law enforcement and work with member states to enhance enforcement of existing ivory trade rules and support member states with elephant population to be better able to protect the species in situ. We can’t do this alone.
- 1979 – 1,300,000 African elephants
- 2013 – 470,000 African elephants
- 1 year – 35,000 – 38,000 elephants poached (International Fund for Animal Welfare)
Thank you for your attention to this matter and for standing up for elephants, while there is still time.