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.
3.Close domestic ivory markets where they are still operating
Impact: clarify the status of ivory to consumers as an illegal and unacceptable product.
4.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
Republic of Congo
Signatories - Other