Recent years have seen some promising movement for elephants. For the past three years, people have marched for elephants in cities around the world. In New Jersey, bipartisan leadership secured the nation’s first comprehensive ivory sales ban, championed by Senator Raymond Lesniak; authored by Assemblyman Raj Mukerhji; and signed into law by Governor Chris Christie in 2014.
At the dawn of 2016, we have entered a critical year for the elephant. Elephants in many, many areas in Africa are being killed faster than they procreate. This is a prediction of extinction. We must secure international support and leadership to defend the right to exist of elephants on this planet — not tomorrow, but now.
This October, when the international community meets in South Africa at the CITES Convention to sign a new trade agreement, it must be one that restores all endangered species to Appendix I standing, including the elephant, lion, and critically endangered rhino.
Above all, we must continue to build and capitalize on the growing momentum and awareness worldwide to save endangered species from extinction.
You can help! Here are 5 ways to make 2016 count for elephants.
1. Mobilize. In particular, start planning now to join the marches for elephants worldwide in October at a city near you.
2. Demand Appendix I standing of all elephants, lions, and rhinos to prevent ivory and wild-caught trade of these endangered species. Attend the CITES Convention if you can in South Africa Sept-Oct. 2016.
3. Never buy or sell ivory.
4. Join the citizen-led movement to ban ivory sales. We need to stop the United States’ role in trades causing extinction and funding terrorist cells of the Al-Qaeda affiliate, and competitor of ISIS, Al-Shabaab; the Lord’s Resistance Army; Janjaweed; Boko Haram. These groups kill elephants and trade their tusks to traffickers for weapons, which are used slaughter people, kidnap children, and rape women. This is a national security and humanitarian issue. (Note: On Wednesday, January 13, the first public hearing for endangered species will take place in Delaware. Here’s how you can support it.)
5. Support Elephant DC’s mission to save the forest elephants of Gabon. We need your help to build a new elephant protection program in Gabon’s Moukalaba Doudou National Park.
2016 can and WILL be the year of the elephant comeback. Take a stand today for elephants to make it happen!