Worldwide  Events

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Elephants are close to extinction!

Excessive poaching in Africa due to high demand for ivory in Asia

and tardiness in politics.


In 1900 there were  10 million elephants in Africa. Hunting was popular with the colonial rulers, and the demand for ivory was given priority. Hence there were only 1.3 million elephants left in Africa in 1979. As poaching was rampant, only 10 years later, in 1989, half of these elephants had been slaughtered, too: Only 600,000 elephants were left.


Hereupon mankind recollected sanity, and the community of states enacted a complete international ban on trade in ivory.  This made a dent, and  elephant populations started to  recover. Unfortunately some years later big mistakes were made and exception sales of large quantities of ivory from african countries into asian countries were permitted.


The consequences were disastrous because the demand for ivory regrew and fueled poaching to catastrophic  degrees.  Some national parks in Tanzania became well-known as "killing fields" while the country lost 60 % of all its elephants within a few years only. In Mosambique, too, only half of the elephants survived compared to numbers just 5 years ago, and in Angola only as little as  1.7 %  of its total elephant population survived since the country's civil war.


In autumn 2016 the results of a new census  showed that there are only around 460,000 grey giants left all over Africa.


The demand for ivory was concentrated in Europe during the colonial era, but has long since shifted to Asia, where specially in China with its  1.3 billion inhabitants the middle class is growing and where ivory is sought-after as a status symbol. In the meantime ivory has become so valuable that tusks and carvings are even purchased as a monetary investment.


This situation can only end fatally for elephants. Therefore immediate bans for ivory trade are essential - complete international bans as well as national trade bans in every single country of the planet.  Elephant hunting trophies of  1,000 elephants each year, which are - unbelievably - still allowed to the exported and imported, must be prohibited, too.  Ivory has to be banned completely all over the world, without any exceptions, to give elephants a chance to survive.


Every purchase of ivory stimulates demand and thus the killing of elephants.   We only have two options: Either we have elephants, or we have ivory trade.  Having both is not possible.


Now there are some trade bans, resp.  announcements of trade bans, in China, Hong Kong, and the USA which are the biggest ivory markets in the world.  This is good, however, these bans still have big loopholes and are partly not yet in effect completely. Germany and the European Union are important transit countries for ivory trafficking and  are export countries of large quantities of ivory which are still there  from  the colonial era.  They only make half-hearted efforts towards an uncompromising trade ban.  A comprehension that there may never be any form of ivory trade again in order to save the species elephant, has not yet established itself in politics.


And while trade bans are being negotiated and implemented only slowly and partially, not one day is passing in Africa without 80 - 90 elephants being killed for their ivory.


Time has become short for elephants.  At this killing rate, they will be extinct within 15 years.


Join in and help to avert this fate!