The phenomenon of global environmental threats, and in particular wildlife crime, calls into question the extent to which individual state governments can adequately handle this complex issue.
Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) are the missing link in this equation. They play a crucial role in achieving global awareness that transcends the national political boundaries and facilitates a real collaboration between all the stakeholders. Enhancing communication efforts and engaging governments and the public opinion with facts and new points of view are among the most noteworthy functions of any NGO, and in particular of the Elephant Action League.
We believe in a participatory approach that directly involves those who have a stake in wildlife conservation, law enforcement, and education.
It is not just about wildlife and the way it is exploited worldwide. It is also about people, the hard work in the field by individuals, nonprofit organisations, and wildlife agencies. It is also about the increasing loss of courageous self sacrificing rangers, and the role of criminal syndicates, militias, and terrorist organizations in the illegal wildlife trade.
Communication is also advocacy, which should always be at the core of any environmental organization, for its central role in shaping public perceptions and working to influence public policy in order to achieve positive and long lasting changes. EAL strives to always engage the stakeholders with courage and humility, to focus on concrete and effective activities, and to remain independent and outspoken.
OUR CAMPAIGN ON THE HUMAN TOLL OF THE IVORY TRADE
Despite a growing number of communication & awareness campaigns to reduce demand for ivory, and given the scale of the problem, demand reduction initiatives have yet to produce significant change in ivory consumers in Asia, especially in China.
Whilst the impact of demand reduction initiatives are by necessity long term, they also require strong parallel initiatives that influence decades of wildlife utilization practices that are entrenched in tradition, the legal system, and the policies of a number of Governments.
We believe that the past communication and awareness campaigns aimed at reducing demand for ivory have had little effect on ivory consumers. One of the reasons for this failure to achieve concrete results and influence public opinion is that all of these communication campaigns are based on elements,such as the ecological importance of elephants, their beauty, or their cruel deaths, and the tragic decline due to poaching, which are not significantly important part in the Asian culture.
In other words, these campaigns are mostly based on the Western perceptions and values and not on the values of the target audience, especially, but not only, the Chinese.
IF YOU BUY IVORY, YOU KILL PEOPLE