The news from Nairobi is devastating. A senseless act of terror that killed and injured so many innocent people. The violence transcends the immediate horror of death and destruction. It will linger in the atmosphere indefinitely, robbing Kenyans and visitors of their sense of security, disrupting daily routines in an already chaotic city and threatening an economy heavily dependent upon tourism and foreign investment.
In the aftermath, some media have linked the illegal ivory trade to funding of Al Shabaab, the terrorist group responsible for this tragedy. The Elephant Action League says that the terror group’s trafficking of ivory through Kenya “could be supplying up to 40% of the funds needed to keep them in business” (click here for story).
Today, an unprecedented coalition committed $80 million in combating the illegal ivory trade and slaughter of Africa’s elephants. An alliance of conservation groups and African nations was announced at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) summit in New York. The group includes WCS, Conservation International, the World Wildlife Fund, the African Wildlife Foundation, and the International Fund for Animal Welfare. Together they will work towards solutions to stop the killing, stop the trafficking, and stop the demand.
Not only will the CGI commitment aim to stop the violence against wildlife, but the security threat that comes with the high-priced criminal activity. Funds will be used to support African governments – including Botswana, Cote d’Ivoire, Gabon, Kenya, South Sudan, Malawi, and Uganda – as they hire more park guards, toughen penalties for poachers, and strengthen intelligence networks (click here for details).
You can be part of this growing cry to stop poaching and halt the illegal ivory trade and the senseless crime it funds. Join the Wildlife Conservation Society’s new movement, 96 Elephants (the number of elephants killed each day), urging President Obama to stop the senseless slaughter of elephants by clicking here. Consider supporting any of the organizations participating in the CGI initiative or those listed in Experts. Walk in the March for Elephants on October 4. Stay informed by following the news posted on In the News. And don’t buy ivory! Becoming part of this growing global movement is one of the most effective things we can do to not only to stop the senseless killing of elephants, but also to reduce revenues to groups that perpetrate senseless acts of terrorism.