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.
|Value||USD 80 Million|