Taking the Initiative For Elephants


Resson Kantai, Projects Officer

Date Published

A new dawn for elephants broke on 26th September, when Hillary and Chelsea Clinton brokered an $80m partnership to bring an end to the ivory poaching crisis. Save the Elephants has been advocating for a global coalition for united, international action for many years and now, thanks to the powerful catalysis of the Clinton Global Initiative, all the major conservation groups are reading from the same script when it comes to elephants.

Secretary Clinton announced the Partnership to Save Africa’s Elephants in New York on the final day of the 2013 Clinton Global Initiative. On stage with heads of state and leaders of several of the largest NGOs, she outlined the coalition’s plan to Stop the Killing, Stop the Trafficking and Stop the Demand. In her opening remarks she also gave special recognition Jane Goodall and Iain Douglas Hamilton for leading conservation efforts on the ground.

“I hope that we can act out of concern for elephants but also out of concern for the security challenges that the poachers are causing for our friends in Africa and beyond. There is growing evidence that the terrorist groups that are stalking Africa, including Al-Shabaab, with its horrific attack on the mall in Nairobi, fund their terrorist activities to a great extent from ivory trafficking. This is not just about elephants it’s about human beings,” she said.

Save the Elephants and the other partners in the initiative have committed to hire and train 3,100 park rangers at 50 hotspots in eastern and central Africa, to train law-enforcement officials and judges responsible for prosecuting international trafficking gangs, to fund sniffer-dog teams along smuggling routes, and to reduce demand in China through 10 million online advocacy actions.

Speaking during the event, President Museveni of Uganda urged “range, transit, and consumer countries to declare or restate national moratoria on all commercial imports, exports and domestic sales and purchases of tusks and ivory products until wild elephant populations are no longer threatened by poaching.”

STE’s drive for a coalition means we were particularly pleased that the Clinton Global Initative, driven by Hillary Clinton’s leadership while Secretary of State, has brought together Presidents from Uganda, Burkina Faso, Cote D’Ivoire, Gabon, Malawi, and Tanzania with conservation NGOs like African Parks Network, Association of Zoos and Aquariums, Frankfurt Zoological Society, National Geographic, Save the Elephants, TRAFFIC, WildAid, Wildlife Direct, the International Conservation Caucus Foundation alongside other institutions such as the Freeland Foundation and the Howard Buffett Foundation.