Chelsea Clinton, the daughter of former U.S. President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, has said misbegotten gains from ivory and other illegal trafficked wildlife products are fuelling criminal networks, and even terrorism in the United States apart from the rest of the world.
Speaking in an interview to CNN's Christiane Amanpour recently, Chelsea, who is now the vice chairperson of the Clinton Foundation, said her mother and she got involved with elephants two years ago for several reasons -- ecological and moral reasons.
"We are losing elephants at a faster rate than they're reproducing and that has devastating consequences on eco-systems. And then a second reason, it is increasingly a national security question for the United States. Misbegotten gains from ivory and other illegal trafficked wildlife products are fuelling criminal networks, its fuelling terrorism. So, we all have a vested interest," she said.
"So, at the foundation, and what we've done, is to bring together all the different organizations that are working on health encroaching crisis. Governments, large international NGOs, frontline NGOs like State of the Elephants and organized work along three pillars: stop the killing, stop the trafficking and stop the demand," she added.
Iain Douglas-Hamilton, the founder of Save the Elephants, told Amanpour that the partnership with The Clinton Foundation had brought together many different parties. And, it's a wonderful framework for biologists and conservationists like me to meet other people from far afield to compare ideas and seek a future for elephants. It's part of a multi-pronged approach that we need if we're going to keep these endangered species like elephants and rhinos," he said.
According to Amanpour, poachers killed 20,000 African elephants last year, and advocacy groups say the terrorist organization, Al-Shabaab, rakes in hundreds of thousands of dollars every month in the illegal ivory trade.
"So, it's an international security issue as well," she said.