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Elephant extinction: a risk to be avoided

Elephant extinction: a risk to be avoided

L'extinction of elephants is becoming a real risk! The ivory trade is decimating the elephant population: in Africa, over the past 10 years, elephants have declined by about 111,000 due to poaching.

But finally China's new position and a recommendation from the European Union could help change things ...

Ivory trade: the numbers of a sad practice

The ivory trade is putting African and Asian elephants, hippopotamus, walruses and narwhals at risk, animals hunted simply to remove their tusks or ivory beaks.

In recent years, the authorities have seized about 30 tons of ivory per year: try to think how many are those that reach the markets!

All over the world the African elephants there are 352,271 spread over 18 countries and they are decreased by 30% in 7 years (144,000 units), based on data from an aerial census, the Great Elephant Census Project, completed a few months ago.

In this map you will find highlighted in red the populations of elephants that are decreasing by more than 5% per year, in orange those that are decreasing by a variable percentage between 2 and 5% / year, in yellow those that are decreasing or growing by less than 2%.

In light green and dark green the "virtuous areas" after the elephant population is growing, in the first case by a variable percentage between 2 and 5% in the second case by more than 5%. If you want to know more about elephant poaching, read the dedicated article

As you can see, the areas where the elephant population is declining are much larger than those where the situation is stable or improving.

On the official website www.greatelephantcensus.com you will find many other detailed information.

Ivory trade: what governments are doing

Despite the declarations of intent by governments and political figures, paradoxical situations often arise where ivory objects are still used as official gifts among heads of state and high personalities.

Some examples? The ivory Santo Niño, icon of the Philippines, given to Pope Ratzinger by the president of the Philippines, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. Or again, the elephant tusk given to Pope John Paul II by Daniel Arap Moi, at the time president of Kenya and considered the father of the agreement on the ban on the ivory trade.

Of course it is necessary to distinguish between ivory sold “regularly” and ivory of illegal origin but in our opinion the sales of ivory products should be banned altogether.

But let's get to the "good news"!

There China announced that by the end of 2017 it will close the national ivory trade: it's a historical turning point which marks the end of the largest legal ivory market and a greater commitment by the international community to combat poaching of African elephants. The first phase foresees that by March 31 some shops that trade ivory will be closed and return their licenses, while by the end of the year all ivory trade in China will be banned.

The European Parliament approved a resolution aimed at combating the illegal trafficking of elephant tusksi but also of other wild animals, such as rhinos, reptiles, amphibians and birds.

Now it is the task of the member states of the European Union to approve the total ban on the ivory trade coming from elephant tusks, both inside and outside the Union. The European Union recommendation also invites individual states to support the customs authorities of non-EU states to guarantee them sufficient resources to combat this sad trafficking.

For our part, we have launched a petition through the Change.org platform whose signatures will be delivered to the Prime Minister, Paolo Gentiloni and to the Department for the implementation of European policies in Italy.

Please help us by signing our petition below:

Elephant extinction: it would be enough not to buy more ivory to avert it

However, the most important contribution to averting the risk of extinction of elephants and other mammals killed for ivory should come from all of us.

None of us should buy ivory anymore and should raise awareness of this problem among our acquaintances. That way the demand would go down and the problem would be solved at source.

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