As the surge in African elephant poaching and illegal ivory trade continues, the Government of Botswana and IUCN are convening a high-level summit on the African Elephant calling for stronger global action to halt the illegal trade and secure viable elephant populations across Africa.
Hosted by the President of the Republic of Botswana H.E. Lieutenant General Seretse Khama Ian Khama, the event will bring together Heads of State and representatives of all African elephant range countries, as well as high-level representatives from key transit and destination countries in the illegal African elephant ivory trade chain.
“The need for all African nations to work together to manage our continent’s natural resources is more important than ever,” says Minister of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism, Botswana Mr T S Khama. “Africa needs the world’s support to address the issues of wildlife trafficking and trade, as it is the world that is creating the demand for wildlife products which drives poaching on our continent, and so threatens the survival of species.”
The summit comes on the heels of the recently launched Clinton Global Initiative’s US$ 80 million effort to fight illegal ivory trade. The African Development Bank, the UN Security Council and the US President Barack Obama, who launched a new US$ 10 million plan to combat illegal wildlife trade and related organized crime earlier this year, are also actively involved in the issue.
“It’s encouraging that the matter is receiving such high-level international attention,” says IUCN Director General Julia Marton-Lefèvre. “Wildlife trafficking is increasingly entrenched in networks of organized crime and addressing the elephant crisis cannot be left to environment ministries and wildlife authorities alone. Such high-level commitment is urgently needed to tackle this complex and increasingly urgent issue.” More....