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Multinational Partnership Rallies to Save African Elephants from Poaching

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The Clinton Global Initiative has launched a new partnership backed by US$ 80 million in funding to help protect and preserve African elephant populations. The death rate for African elephants has skyrocketed in recent years as illegal poachers kill tens of thousands of the precious creatures annually for their ivory. In 2012 alone, some 35,000 elephants were killed.

 

The Partnership to Save Africa’s Elephants is adopting a three-pronged strategy to protect wild elephant populations: stop the killing, stop the trafficking, and stop the demand.

 

Stop the killing entails a commitment to scale up on-the-ground anti-poaching enforcement in African range states to reduce the amount of illegally killed elephants to below 50 percent. Law enforcement will focus on 50 key protected areas that provide homes to some 285,000 elephants. Project partners will support the efforts of 5,000 park guards at these sites.

 

Stop the trafficking efforts will rally around encouraging trade moratoriums, strengthening enforcement capacity at ports and markets, increasing intelligence efforts to crack down on illegal networks, securing ivory stockpiles, and reforming laws and penalties intended to rapidly reduce trafficking.

 

Finally, stop the demand efforts will target consumer markets and raise awareness about the danger of elephant poaching and the ivory trade to the survival of the African elephant.

 

Called “commitment makers,” major players in the partnership include Wildlife Conservation Society, African Wildlife Foundation, Conservation International, International Fund for Animal Welfare, and World Wildlife Fund.

 

Illegal wildlife trafficking ranks fifth among the most lucrative of criminal activities, after trafficking in drugs, people, oil and counterfeiting.