Tens of thousands of people in 140 cities around the world will take
to the streets on the opening day of the CITES conference in
Johannesburg to send a powerful united message to the delegates,
urging them to vote for the strongest measures of protection for
elephants and rhinos.
In London this year, numerous conservation bodies will be coming
together and marching at 11h00 from Cavendish Square Gardens to
Downing street to deliver a letter to PM Theresa May calling for
The London march, organised by the grassroots group Action for
Elephants UK, will call on the government to fulfil its 2010 and 2015
manifesto pledge for a total ban on ivory trade in the UK.
By allowing a legal ivory trade to flourish within its borders, the UK
is also harbouring illegal trade, which drives the ongoing poaching
and trafficking of ivory.
The Great Elephant Census revealed this month that 30% of Africa’s
elephants have been wiped out between 2007 and 2014. That’s 144,000
elephants killed in 7 years. At the current rate of decline of 8% per
year, African elephants are on the path to extinction.
Every year around 30,000 elephants and 1,100 rhinos are brutally
killed by poachers. Their tusks and horns are hacked off and
trafficked around the world, mainly to countries in Asia where demand
is highest but also to Western countries.
They are brutally butchered by heavily armed criminal gangs using an
arsenal of weapons, including AK-47s, helicopter gunships, snares, and
poison. Terrorist groups are also involved in poaching and controlling
transport routes for ivory.
In his statement of support given to the Global March, William Hague,
chairman of a United for Wildlife task force, said: “I pay tribute to
everyone involved in the vital cause of saving Africa’s elephants. We
can win this battle if every country plays its part. Western
countries, including the UK, should now close their ivory markets to
ensure this evil trade is suppressed and to encourage China and others
to follow our example. With clear campaigning and the right decisions,
we must defeat the killing of some of the worlds’ most revered
London march co-organiser Denise Dresner of Action for Elephants said:
“We have very little time left to save these magnificent, iconic
species. How can we sit by and allow such a catastrophic loss to
happen on our watch? These animals desperately need our help. We urge
everyone to give a few hours of their time on Sept 24th to join the
global call to save them – there won’t be a second chance.”
Join the march
In the UK, there will be four events: marches in Edinburgh, London,
and Manchester, and a smaller event in Lyndhurst. For more
information, please visit www.march4elephantsandrhinos.
Facebook event pages. The London FB event page is
The London march will start at 11 AM in Cavendish Square W1 and will
end at Whitehall around 1 PM. A letter signed by NGOs,
conservationists, MPs and celebrities will be delivered to No. 10 at
the end of the march (at approximately 2.30) by representatives from
Action for Elephants UK and supporting NGOs.