Ending the International Trade in Ivory
2013 was the bloodiest year for elephant poaching in Africa since 1989. It proved to be a tipping point. On 7 June 2013, Stop Ivory was established with one purpose: to stop the illegal killing of elephants, by catalysing the permanent collapse of ivory markets. The sharply lowered demand resulted in a dramatic fall in ivory prices, allowing elephants to recover across the continent.
Working through the Elephant Protection Initiative, Stop Ivory formed part of a coalition that supported African governments to build an international consensus aimed at restricting the exchange and purchase of ivory around the world. Within a few short years, this coalition had succeeded in closing domestic markets in twenty countries - including the United States and China.
This has led to a sharp reduction in the demand for ivory, which in turn resulted in a dramatic fall in
ivory prices, and allowed elephant populations to recover across the continent.
Stop Ivory Final
Having successfully achieved its objectives, Stop Ivory formally closed in December 2020. Download and read the final report, including a summary of key achievements.
“The threat remains. We must never become complacent, but by standing together, we have built the foundations of a better future.”
Honourable Paula Francisco Coelho
former Minister of Environment, Republic of Angola
Failure to tackle domestic ivory markets and a resumption of the legal international trade will be extremely damaging to elephant conservation efforts and will not effectively resolve the many challenges faced by elephant range states. The Elephant Protection Initiative recognises these challenges and is an outspoken advocate on the international stage.
We believe it is necessary to move beyond the debate on trade and promote a more holistic and sustainable approach to elephant conservation. An approach that provides for meaningful, long-term funding and will ensure the harmonious coexistence of elephants and people.
Sustainable Finance Lead
John Scanlon AO
John is the CEO of the EPI Foundation. He served as Secretary-General of CITES from 2010 - 2018, and has also held senior positions with IUCN, UNEP and with government in Australia.