EPI African Governments welcome the UK Ivory Bill
20th December 2018
‘We urge other governments to adopt similarly tough measures’,
We the undersigned, African member governments of the Elephant Protection Initiative (EPI), welcome the fact that today in London the UK’s Ivory Bill received Royal Assent, and therefore enters into law as the 2018 Ivory Act. This enacts tough new rules on the commercial trade of ivory in, from and to the UK, and is therefore a significant moment for elephant conservation.
As African elephant range states, we are all too aware of the serious threat posed by the ivory trade. Some 20,000 elephants are killed in Africa each year. Poaching is big business, run by ruthless networks that thrive on, and create, lawlessness. It is linked to the trafficking of weapons, drugs and the spread of terror. Hundreds of our wildlife rangers have been killed trying to defend elephants from well-armed poachers.
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.