EPI African Governments welcome the UK Ivory Bill 

20th December 2018


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.


Domestic ivory markets, wherever they may be, provide a cover for the illegal trade and sustain the demand for poaching. We believe the UK’s new law will have an impact not only within its borders but will also support and encourage enforcement efforts and initiatives to reduce ivory trafficking in Africa, and around the world. EPI member countries have already shut down their own domestic markets, or are in the process of doing so.have been killed trying to defend elephants from well-armed poachers. 

No one should doubt the commitment of our governments to conserving our elephants. But we need global action to end the ivory trade for good. We strongly urge other governments which have yet to adopt similarly tough measures to follow suit, particularly the EU and Japan, two of the principal remaining legal markets for ivory. We urge them to join the UK and to act now in ending the ivory trade and the scourge of elephant poaching.


  • Angola: Paula Coelho, Minister for the Environment

  • Botswana: Tshekedi Khama, Minister of the Environment

  • Chad: Sidick Abdelkerim Haggar, Minister of the Environment

  • Republic of Congo: Rosalie Matondo, Minister of Forest Economy

  • Ethiopia: Prof. Fekadu Beyene, Commissioner of Environment, Forestry and Climate Change

  • Gabon: Prof Lee White, Director, Gabonese National Parks Service (ANPN)

  • Kenya: Najib Balala, Cabinet Secretary of the Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife

  • Liberia: Hon C. Mike Doryen, Managing Director of the Forestry Development Authority (FDA)

  • Malawi: Brighton Kumchedwa, Director, Malawi's Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DWNP)

  • Nigeria: Ibrahim Usman Jibril, Minister of the Environment

  • Sierra Leone: Fatima Jabbie Maada Bio, First Lady

  • South Sudan: Jemma Nunu Kumba, Minister for Wildlife

  • Tanzania: Hamisi Kigwangalla, Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism.