The EPI was launched in 2014 by the leaders of 5 countries; Gabon, Chad, Tanzania, Botswana and Ethiopia.
Since then, we have grown, and now have 19 member countries. We are Francophone, Lusophone and Anglophone.
A majority of Africa’s surviving elephants – both forest and savannah species - are in EPI countries. We are confident that more countries will be joining us in the EPI in the near future.
We have common policies to save Africa’s elephants and build a sustainable future for our people. These are based on the African Elephant Action Plan (AEAP), which was agreed by all African elephant range states in 2010. We want to close down the ivory trade and ivory markets. We also want to build on this agreement, by encouraging our members, and other African countries, to develop National Elephant Action Plans (NEAPs). These include budget, monitoring and evaluation plans for countries to protect elephants and benefit people who live alongside them.
“Stop talking. Please stop talking. It is now time for action.”
President Ali Bongo Ondimba of Gabon opened the EPI’s inaugural Consultative Group with an appeal for international support for African countries as they attempt to implement their National Elephant Action Plans (NEAPs). "If the international community is unable or unwilling to identify the finances required to implement these plans... then NEAPs are just pieces of paper”, warned the President.
The EPI’s Consultative Group meeting was one of the highlights of the Illegal Wildlife Trade (IWT) Conference, held in London on October 11th and 12th, 2018. Chaired by President Ali Bongo, it was also attended by President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi of Botswana, the first ladies of Kenya and Sierra Leone, the UK government, and ministerial delegations from most of the 19 EPI member countries. President Masisi said the EPI ‘represented hope’ for African countries looking to conserve their elephants. In a special address Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, said that he believed the EPI ‘offers the best African owned approach to protecting African elephants”.
The Secretariat of the EPI is staffed by two NGOs, Conservation International and Stop Ivory.
The Secretariat’s mission is to provide technical and financial support to countries so they can meet their EPI goals. It works with the EPI Implementation Board, which consists of representatives from the member countries, and directly with government ministries and wildlife authorities, with support from a wide range of partners.
The EPI Secretariat supports countries by...
Providing guidelines and standards for National Elephant Action Plans (NEAPs) in English, French and Portuguese.
Linking member states with donors who can raise funds for NEAPs.
Linking member states with NGO partners who can implement NEAPs.
Providing direct assistance with ivory stockpile inventories, stockpile management, and if a member so wishes, stockpile destruction.