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Thursday, 11 March 2010
In a few days, 2 African governments will try to pry open the worldwide ban on ivory trading, a decision that could wipe out whole elephant populations and bring these magnificent animals closer to extinction.
They are lobbying the UN for special exemptions from the ban, but this would send a clear signal to the ivory crime syndicates that international protection is weakening and it's open-season on elephants. Another group of African states have countered by calling to extend the trade ban for 20 years.
Our best chance to save the continent's remaining elephants is to support African conservationists. We only have a few days left and the UN Endangered Species body only meets every 3 years. Click below to sign our urgent petition to protect elephants, and forward this email widely - the petition will be delivered to the UN meeting in Doha:
Over 20 years ago, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) passed a worldwide ban on ivory trading. Poaching fell, and ivory prices slumped. But poor enforcement coupled with 'experimental one-off sales', like the one being currently sought, drove poaching up and turned illegal trade into a lucrative business - poachers can launder their illegal ivory with the legal stockpiles.
Now, despite the worldwide ban, each year over 30,000 elephants are gunned down and their tusks hacked off by poachers with axes and chainsaws. If the loophole is exploited, this awful trade could get much worse.
We have a one off chance this week to extend the worldwide ban and repress poaching and trade prices before we lose even more elephant populations.
Please also read: http://africaportal.blogspot.com/2010/03/ivory-trading_07.html