By Ken Thomas
Hillary Rodham Clinton outlined plans for an $80 million effort to curb the poaching and trafficking of elephants in Africa, warning Thursday that the continent's elephants could face extinction without swift action.
The former secretary of state and her daughter, Chelsea Clinton, announced the three-year project at the Clinton Global Initiative, telling activists and supporters that the killing of elephants to support the sale of ivory around the globe had reached a crisis point.
"Unless the killing stops, African forest elephants are expected to be extinct within 10 years. I can't even grasp what a great disaster this is ecologically, but also for everyone who shares this planet," the former first lady said.
Clinton, a potential 2016 presidential candidate, said losing the elephant to extinction "seems like such a rebuke to our own values."
The Clinton initiative aims to prevent the killing and trafficking of elephants and rhinos. It also hopes to address the demand for ivory in Asia and the United States.
Several conservation groups have banded together to prevent the slaughter, including the Wildlife Conservation Society and the World Wildlife Fund. They noted that trafficking has a national security element because some of the illicit proceeds have helped terrorist organizations. More....