By Leocadia Bongben
Some 30 Cameroonian Artists have joined the sensitisation for the protection of elephants through a festival dubbed Elephantastik.
The maiden edition Elephantastik billed from November 29-30 at the Camtel Club in Yaounde is an initiative of an association, “Les Amie de la Culture”, (Friends of Culture) coordinated by Issoukou Eitel (Reezbo).
Presenting the festival to the press at the WWF office, Reezbo said the festival is organised within the framework of sensitising the public, government officials and policy makers on the importance of protecting elephants, endangered with extinction.
“Wounded and disoriented, elephants are exposed to suffering and even death. The future of baby elephants that lose their parents to poachers is uncertain as some die of thirst and hunger” he said.
It is against this backdrop that the artists, with the knowledge of the alarming reduction of the elephant population by 62 percent, are organising Elephantastik.
WWF Country Director, Hanson Njiforti accompanied the artists at the presentation of the festival.
Among the many questions from journalists, was how such a festival could stop poaching and sale of ivory when those who perpetrate the ivory trade are found in Asia, China and other European countries.
Bas Huijbregts, WWF Head of Policy Engagement Illegal Wildlife Trade Campaign for Central Africa said WWF has been campaigning at different levels dubbing the campaign by artists a new approach to the fight against illegal trafficking in wildlife with all stakeholders being part of the sensitisation process.
He said elephants are killed in Cameroon for the international illegal ivory market and the people that buy the ivory are not Cameroonians, they come from China, South East Asia and Europe and United States. More....