“Stop talking. Please stop talking. It is now time for action.”
President Ali Bongo Ondimba of Gabon
President Ali Bongo Ondimba of Gabon opened the EPI’s inaugural Consultative Group with an appeal for international support for African countries as they attempt to implement their National Elephant Action Plans (NEAPs). "If the international community is unable or unwilling to identify the finances required to implement these plans... then NEAPs are just pieces of paper”, warned the President.
The EPI’s Consultative Group meeting was one of the highlights of the Illegal Wildlife Trade (IWT) Conference, held in London on October 11th and 12th. Chaired by President Ali Bongo, it was also attended by President Mokgweetsi Masisi of Botswana, the first ladies of Kenya and Sierra Leone, the UK government, and ministerial delegations from most of the 19 EPI member countries. President Masisi said the EPI ‘represented hope’ for African countries looking to conserve their elephants. In a special address Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, said that he believed the EPI ‘offers the best African owned approach to protecting African elephants”.
The elephant Crisis
Africa’s elephants are disappearing. Some 20,000 are killed each year- that’s 55 every single day- mostly for the illegal ivory trade. The overall number has declined by about one third over the last decade. Many elephants now live in small and isolated populations; if current trends continue, they will be wiped out in the next decade.
We, the EPI, comprise 19 African countries determined to end the killing of our elephants. The majority of surviving elephants live in our countries. We span the continent, from east to west, from savannah to dense forests. We are Anglophone, Francophone and Lusophone. We have a plan to protect our elephants. We can do most of the work ourselves, but we also welcome your support.