By Sean O'Grady
The Independent’s charity appeal has now raised more than £400,000 for our partner charity Space for Giants.
The funds will help to protect elephants in Kenya from wholesale slaughter – and it is the most successful Independent appeal ever.
It will provide for the recruitment and training of wildlife wardens; teaching communities how to co-exist with elephants as human settlement encroaches on wildlife habitats; and on purchasing new conservation areas where elephants can live safely.
More donations are needed and welcome – but we are also asking readers to support a broader campaign on poaching and smuggling.
In common with many other charities, Space for Giants is lobbying governments worldwide as they prepare for the historic London Conference on wildlife crime, which is being hosted by the Prime Minister next Thursday.
The Independent has again joined with Space for Giants to call for world leaders to take action to:
Provide better training for rangers;
Curb demand by educating consumers in Asia about the reality behind ivory and rhino horn poaching;
Drive down sometimes endemic corruption;
Uphold the existing ban on trade in ivory;
Aid communities in poaching hotspots to develop sustainable livelihoods.
We have a page on our Voices site where you can join the debate. The tasks facing campaigners are daunting. For example, 70 per cent of Chinese ivory buyers do not realise it comes from elephants.
Max Graham, of Space for Giants, said: “The appeal has been completely transformational... I truly believe that, largely as a consequence of the awareness and funds raised by the campaign, 2014 will be the year the tide turned for elephants, forever.”
Supporters of the campaign
The Bank of England
BMW UK (Mini)
Jake and Dinos Chapman
Anneliese Emmans Dean
Zac Goldsmith MP
The Hippodrome Casino
Simon Le Bon
Rob Lloyd Jones
Ed Miliband MP
The Saatchi Gallery
Saracens Rugby Club
Segera Retreat, Kenya
Hugo Swire MP
The Moon Houses, Kenya
Adrian Villar Rojas
The Zoological Society of London