US government helps EPI to keep Africa’s ivory secure
We’re delighted to announce that the EPI Foundation has been awarded a further grant from the US government to help countries in Africa secure and manage their ivory stockpiles. The US State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), has given the EPI Foundation almost $1 million to work with the governments of Gabon and Malawi in implementing its ‘Gold Standards’ procedures for
the handling of ivory and other wildlife products.
John Scanlon, the acting CEO of the EPI Foundation, said, ‘Saving elephants and other wildlife from poaching, as well as combating illegal wildlife, requires a multifaceted approach. The management of growing stockpiles of elephant ivory and other wildlife products has become increasingly important. Together with the governments of Gabon and Malawi, we will work to ensure security, accountability and transparency in the storage of wildlife products, including their use in the evidentiary chain and in securing successful prosecutions. We’re most grateful to the US government for this grant, which further demonstrates recognition of the EPI Foundation’s deep expertise in this area’.
Ivory, and other wildlife products, accrues from carcasses found in the wild or is seized from traffickers. The leakage of ivory back into the illegal market fuels the ivory trade and can perpetuate the killing of elephants. The EPI Foundation has created a bespoke Stockpile Management System, (SMS), a digital tool for secure storage of inventory data, which, since 2014, has been implemented by 11 African countries. The 'Gold Standards’, a comprehensive set of procedures that includes transport, storeroom security and inventory collection, were introduced in 2019. These aim to meet and exceed the recommendations for the management of ivory laid out by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), and are being implemented by Gabon, Malawi, Ethiopia, Uganda, Nigeria, Angola and Côte d’Ivoire. (The UK government also helps fund the ‘Gold Standards’ programme in Uganda, Ethiopia and Malawi).