Liberia joins the EPI

Monrovia, Liberia, 15 December 2015 – Liberia has become the 10th African nation to join the Elephant Protection Initiative (EPI), an African-led and African-founded conservation programme to end the ivory trade and stop the eradication of the continent’s increasingly threatened elephant populations.

According to the latest available data from the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s African Elephant Database, approximately 1363 forest elephants remained in Liberia as of 2013, following a protracted civil war in the 1980s which sparked the eventual slaughter of 19,000 elephants – or 95 per cent of the country’s elephant population.

Mark Rose, CEO of Fauna & Flora International, an international NGO with a long-term presence in Liberia said, “We are delighted Liberia made this decision. It shows a further commitment by the government to the country’s rich natural heritage and alignment to other African states.”

This is a momentous occasion for Liberia and for conservation everywhere, as we stand in unity with a growing number of African nations committed to opposing the senseless slaughter of our precious elephants. The Elephant Protection Initiative is instrumental to our efforts to stamp out wildlife crime because it provides us, as Africans – responsible for some of the world’s richest reserves of wildlife – to engage in a joint effort to protect elephant populations.
— President of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf