Somalia joins the EPI

September 14th 2016

The Federal Republic of Somalia makes historic move and signs on as 14th Member State to growing African-led elephant protection initiative.

Nairobi, Kenya. September 14, 2016 – Charting a new path for conservation, Somalia today announced it has signed to join The Elephant Protection Initiative, an African-led and African-founded program to end the ivory trade and stop the eradication of the continent’s increasingly threatened elephant populations.

Becoming the 14th African nation to sign on to the EPI since its inception in 2014, Somalia’s Minister for Livestock and Pasture, Said Hussein Iid said, “Somalia’s rich environmental history has for long been overshadowed by the long-drawn out civil war. However, it is our hope that by joining the EPI, we can work to slowly rebuild this history and join together with other African nations to stop the harrowing consequences that elephant poaching and trafficking is bringing to our continent. As the leaders of Africa, we must unite and commit to protecting our wildlife for the future generations.”

In March this year, Morgan, a radio collared elephant bull in his 20s, marched hundreds of kilometers and briefly crossed into Somalia from Kenya where he forms part of an ongoing study lead by Dr Iain Douglas-Hamilton’s Save the Elephants. Speaking at the time, Ian Craig, Chairman of Stop Ivory said “A mature bull like Morgan is not wandering aimlessly. He’s likely following a route that he learnt earlier in his life, one that has been used by elephants for generations.”

Somalia, which was once known as a place of rich biodiversity has seen its wildlife populations decline rapidly with only small pockets of wildlife roaming freely in some parts of the country.

Constant pressures from overgrazing, charcoal production, poaching and an open ivory market, coupled with a 20-year civil war, have created a conservation wilderness in a region that was once said to host one of Africa’s largest wildlife populations.

Somalia has emerged from its complicated past and the time is right for them to join the EPI... It is crunch time for Africa’s elephants and without a stop to the poaching, killing, trafficking and trade, their populations will continue to fade. Somalia’s joining the EPI also shows the growing strength of Africa’s voice in taking a stand against illegal wildlife trade and trafficking.
— John Stephenson, CEO Stop Ivory