Elephants Finally Have A Chance Of Survival Thanks To Major Resolution Passed At World Summit

13/9/2016

Between 1 and 10 September, nations and environmental groups deliberated at the International Union for the Conservation of Nature(IUCN) summit in a bid to stop the slaughtering of elephants for their tusks.There was much debate and a lot of disagreements, even some walkouts, but eventually it was agreed to shut down the domestic ivory trade. There was opposition from South Africa, Japan and Namibia, who wanted to keep the domestic trade markets open as long as they are regulated.

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Source: The Guardian

The IUCN is made up mostly of environmental groups, and they were enraged by the inflexibility of these countries. Sue Lieberman,vice-president of international policy at the Wildlife Conservation Society, and a cosponsor of the motion,said:

There’s truly a crisis for elephants and we need to close the elephant ivory markets.
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Source: The Guardian

Danny Auron, who is a campaign director at Avaaz, a global web movement fighting for environmental causes, also expressed his frustration:

Every 15 minutes an elephant is slaughtered for its tusks, and at this rate they’ll be gone forever in a few short years. If we want this species to survive, governments need to be falling over themselves to strengthen protections, not fighting to water them down.

The poaching of elephants for their tusks has caused a great decline in the population of the species in Africa. According to The Guardian, nearly a third (30%) of all African elephants were wiped out between 2007 and 2014, a shocking and tragic statistic.The IUCN resolution that has been passed calls for governments to close their domestic markets for elephant ivory and it was the first time that a major international body has called on all countries to close their markets, according to Andrew Wetzler, deputy chief program officer at the Natural Resources Defense Council.Later this month theConvention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) will take place in Johannesburg. Hopefully the IUCN resolution will affect the votes at CITES in 11 days' time, and this motion can become legally binding.