Elephants: Worth More Alive

It’s time to turn a plan into action, end the ivory trade, and bring the elephant crisis to a stop.

The solution

Between 2007 and 2014, almost a third of Africa’s elephants were lost. Over 20,000 elephants are still being killed each year, for ivory. Wildlife rangers put their lives on the line to stop the slaughter – but over 1,000 of these heroes have died in the line of duty in the last decade. It’s no wonder: the illegal wildlife trade is big business, estimated to net criminals up to $20 billion a year.

The link between this ongoing tragedy and regional instability, poor governance, and high-level corruption is uncontested – as is the need to address it, urgently.

Members of the EPI commit to:


Secure immediate funding from both public and private sectors to implement the African Elephant Action Plan (AEAP)
Impact: Real on the ground support for enforcement and anti-trafficking according to national priorities that are identified through an inclusive NEAP planning process.


Maintain the international ban established in 1989 by the multilateral Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora (CITES)
Impact: halt the price escalation linked to the undermining of the ban, and encourage countries across the supply chain to support a consistent policy position on ivory.


Close domestic ivory markets where they are still operating
Impact: clarify the status of ivory to consumers as an illegal and unacceptable product.


Put ivory stockpiles beyond economic use
Impact: stop leakage, corruption, and temptation by consumer states to lobby for further “one off sales” by CITES.

Through these actions the EPI builds on and supports the delivery of two key international agreements.

First, The 2010 African Elephant Action Plan (AEAP); by delivering immediate and longer-term actions to protect elephants in their habitats, supporting efforts to boost wildlife-based economies, tackling the illegal trade in ivory, and by advancing the common policy position that all ivory markets must be closed if elephants are to be secured across their range, the EPI contributes to the successful implementation of the AEAP’s objectives.

Second, the Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs, adopted by the UN in 2015; which are important, world-changing objectives that require cooperation among governments, international organisations and global leaders. The NEAP development process puts these key local, national and trans-boundary stakeholders at its heart through inclusive workshops - this ensures that the elephant conservation projects they consist of support the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

As funding the EPI can therefore be seen as directly financing the delivery of the SDGs, the link between the conservation objectives of NEAPs to this broader set of actions to end poverty and protect the planet also provides a new basis for channeling significant funding.

The following diagram shows how certain EPI objectives can be directly related to specific SDGs:

Strengthened coordination for elephant management

Wildlife and parks management

Reducing human wildlife conflict

Community empowerment & involvement

Increased livelihood opportunities

Strengthened governance and enforcement

Signatories - Range States

Cote d’Ivoire



South Sudan


Sierra Leone



Republic of Congo









Signatories - Other

The Gambia


Partners IGOs


Partners NGOs

Wildlife Impact


Ulinzi Africa Foundation

Kissama Foundation

The Brazzaville Foundation for Peace and Conservation

Tsavo Conservation Group

Fauna and Flora International

African Conservation Foundation


Northern Rangelands Trust

Lewa Wildlife Conservancy

Born Free Foundation

The Royal Foundation

Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

Frankfurt Zoological Society

The Nature Conservancy


International Fund for Animal Welfare

African Wildlife Foundation

The Lilongwe Wildlife Trust

The Tusk Trust

African Parks Network

Environmental Investigation Agency

Big Life Foundation

Africa Nomads

Wildlife Direct

Zoological Society of London

Space for Giants

David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

Wildlife Conservation Society

Save the Elephants

Join Us

Take Action

We are here to help bring people together under the Elephant Protection Initiative, and channel that support to provide the tools and funding urgently needed for the long-term, sustainable conservation of Africa’s elephants.

Countries join the EPI as signatories, and the secretariat will work with them to implement the EPI’s committments. Meanwhile, conservation, private sector and other organisations can pledge their support - either in principle or through invaluable funding to address the Elephant Crisis.

Please use the form below to let us know why you are getting in touch, so we are able to assist as efficiently as possible. If you would prefer to speak to someone in person, please call +44 203 865 3126, or email us at

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