As part of our mission, one of our primary objectives is to inform the general public about the extent of the exploitation of elephants and other wildlife worldwide, the tragedy caused by the illegal trade of ivory and other wildlife products, and the importance to fight wildlife crime.
WILDLIFE & FOREST CRIME: It is the 4th largest transnational crime in the world, worth an estimate US$ 17 billion annually! Offences like poaching, trafficking in live or dead endangered animals or illegal logging, are complex phenomenon where a variety of factors interact – cultural, social, economic and environmental – and often involve different actors. The causes and the consequences of wildlife crime vary among countries, areas and local societies, but it always threatens the existence of many plant and animal species. For most countries, combating wildlife crime is unfortunately not a priority and almost always remains overlooked and poorly understood. Wildlife offences also enrich international criminal groups and enable corruption to flourish. Fraud, counterfeiting, money-laundering and violence are often found in combination with various forms of wildlife crime.
THE IVORY TRADE: THE TRAGEDY ON THE GROUND AND ITS HUMAN TOLL Equally important is the re-positioning of the situation on the ground regarding the killing of elephants for ivory. Not just the daily elephant slaughter but also the struggle of the people who protect them, the robbery that is going on, the national and international security threat that poaching is posing and the fight with its human toll.
Dozens of people die every year fighting against poachers, leaving behind widows, orphans and families destroyed. People are encouraged or forced to engage in criminal activities, vulnerable and disadvantaged communities get exploited, ivory is fueling conflicts and terrorism. In 2012 the first female ranger in Kenya was killed by poachers, Florence Hadia Abae, pregnant and the mother of a small boy.
This is the ivory trade. If You Buy Ivory, You Kill People.
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THE IVORY ADDICTION AND THE LACK OF KNOWLEDGE ON THE CONSUMER SIDE: Past polls and surveys highlighted the strength of the addiction to ivory in China but also a great lack of knowledge by consumers and the need of effective and targeted educational activities. For example, in China, a survey polled consumers in 9 of China’s largest cities and sampled a group of 600 members of the upper middle class with an age range of 18-55. According to the survey, 84 percent of Chinese consumers surveyed plan to buy ivory products in the future. 68 percent of respondents have purchased at least one ivory product in the past. 87 percent associate purchasing ivory products with a feeling of “prestige” (2012, National Geographic and Ifop).