Partnership to Save Africa’s Elephants

The Wildlife Conservation Society, African Wildlife Foundation, World Wildlife Fund, International Fund for Animal Welfare, Conservation International and their partners committed to preventing further elephant poaching by directly targeting the chief drivers of poaching. This commitment takes a triple pronged approach by dedicating funding to: “stop the killing,” “stop the trafficking,” and “stop the demand.” This collaborative commitment has massive impact potential for improving the future survival of the world’s last great elephant populations.

Partnership to Save Africa’s Elephants

African elephants are being slaughtered at an unprecedented rate as demand for ivory continues unabated. In 2012, some 35,000 African elephants were killed, representing the worst mass slaughter of elephants since the international ivory trade was banned in 1989. African forest elephants in particular have been devastated by poaching and have declined by about 76 percent since 2002. At this rate, African forest elephants could effectively be extinct over the next decade.

As one of the world’s most lucrative criminal activities, valued at $7-10 billion annually, the illegal wildlife trade ranks fifth globally in terms of value, behind the trafficking in drugs, people, oil, and counterfeiting. Increasing consumer demand for ivory, particularly in Asia, is causing the price of ivory to skyrocket, thereby driving the illegal trade in elephant ivory and the mass slaughter of elephants in Africa. Today’s ivory traffickers are primarily well-organized syndicates that operate as transnational criminal networks and often participate in other illegal activities, including trafficking in narcotics and weapons, and some have links with terrorist networks.

Urgent and immediate action is required to address the poaching crisis on three fronts: 1) Stop the killing; 2) Stop the trafficking; and 3) Stop the demand. The Wildlife Conservation Society, World Wildlife Fund, African Wildlife Foundation, International Fund for Animal Welfare and Conservation International have partnered with 11 other non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to lead this three-pronged approach and halt the decline of African elephants by the end of 2016.

The partnership has pledged $80 million towards the Commitment to Action. And is currently seeking additional partners to provide critical financial or in-kind support totaling $70 million.


  • Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)

    Implementing NGO, Advocacy NGO
    United States | Staff size: Unknown

    The Wildlife Conservation Society, founded in 1895, has the clear mission to save wildlife and wild places across the globe. The story began in the early 1900’s when Wildlife Conservation...

  • African Wildlife Foundation (AWF)

    Implementing NGO
    Staff size: 101-250

    The African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) is a leading international conservation organization focused solely on Africa. Since our founding in 1961, AWF has recognized that Africa’s wildlife...

  • WWF

    Implementing NGO
    United States | Staff size: 5001-10,000

    For more than 45 years, WWF has been protecting the future of nature. The world’s leading conservation organization, WWF works in 100 countries and is supported by 1.2 million members in...

  • The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW)

    Advocacy NGO
    United States | Staff size: 101-250

    From the outset, the founders of the International Fund for Animal Welfare, or IFAW, rejected the notion that the interests of humans and animals were separate. Instead they embraced the...

  • The Nature Conservancy

    Implementing NGO
    United States | Staff size: 1001-5000

    The Nature Conservancy is the leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people.

    They address the...

  • Conservation International (CI)

    Implementing NGO
    United States | Staff size: 501-1000

    For nearly 30 years, Conservation International (CI) has been protecting nature for the benefit of all​.

    Conservation International knows that human beings are totally dependent on...

  • Frankfurt Zoological Society (FZS)

    Association, Foundation
    Germany | Staff size: 251-500

    Frankfurt Zoological Society (FZS) is an international conservation organization based in Frankfurt in Germany. Founded by Prof. Bernhard Grzimek, FZS is now committed to preserving wild lands...

  • Freeland Foundation

    Advocacy NGO
    Thailand | Staff size: 6-25

    FREELAND is dedicated to making the world free of human slavery and wildlife trafficking by increasing law enforcement capacity, supporting vulnerable...

  • National Geographic

    United States | Staff size: 1001-5000

    The National Geographic Society is a nonprofit scientific and educational organization that pushes the boundaries of exploration to further their understanding of their planet and...

  • Save the Elephants

    Implementing NGO
    Kenya | Staff size: 6-25

    Save the Elephants works to sustain elephant populations and preserve the habitats in which elephants are found, while at the same time fostering a heightened appreciation and visibility for...

  • WildAid

    Advocacy NGO
    United States | Staff size: 6-25

    WildAid's mission is to end the illegal wildlife trade in their lifetimes by reducing demand through public awareness campaigns and providing comprehensive marine protection.

    The illegal...

  • WildlifeDirect

    Advocacy NGO, Implementing NGO
    United States | Staff size: Unknown

    WildlifeDirect is a Kenyan NGO and US registered 501(c) (3) organization co-founded in 2004 by Kenyan conservationist Dr. Richard Leakey, who is credited with putting an end to the elephant...

  • The Howard G. Buffett Foundation (HGBF)

    United States | Staff size: 6-25

    Established in 1999, the Howard G. Buffett Foundation (HGBF) is a private family foundation working to catalyze transformational change to improve the world and the lives of the most...

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Key Information

  • Start Date 2013
  • End Date 2016
  • ValueUSD 80 Million