As China’s legal ivory trade draws to a close in 2017, pressure is increasing on other markets to follow suit. Vietnam (whose rampant illegal trade we exposed last year) has pledged a clamp down, the European Union looks set to ban ivory exports from July, and the UK government continues to edge towards a stronger commitment. Even Japan, the sole remaining nation to insist on continued trade during last year’s CITES convention, has pledged to tighten up regulations. Critical to all bans is that work to reduce demand for ivory continues alongside effective enforcement of the law.
When four men from one of Kenya’s most notorious crime families arrived in the US at the end of January it marked the biggest win to date in the war against the trafficking of ivory. Although the Akasha brothers were extradited primarily for drug smuggling, their network was also linked to around 30 tons of seized ivory. Feisal Ali Mohammed, finally jailed in Kenya in July 2016, was a mere supplier to their operation. The arrests should put a dent in the transport of ivory out of Mombasa, as well as serve as a warning to all those who seek to profit from the killing of elephants.
Ten government officials and shipping executives behind attempts to smuggle 3.6 tons of ivory from DRC to the Asian markets have been arrested. Save the Elephants joined the US government in support of the Lusaka Agreement Task Force and a range of partners in the investigations and subsequent arrests.
When crops begin to sprout, farmers living near elephants live in fear. In recent months in Tsavo, Southern Kenya, up to 100 hungry elephants went on a crop-raiding rampage. Not one of the farms protected by beehive fences were affected. This success echoes a new review of 3.5 yearsof data of our beehive fence project, showing an 80% success rate.
A recent seizure of more than a ton of ivory in Uganda’s capital and the arrest of three suspects was a triumph of collaboration between police, government and private sector. This is now a significant force to disrupt the trafficking networks across East, West and Central Africa. We are proud to be involved through the Elephant Crisis Fund.
People increasingly determine elephant behaviour. Our Human Footprint project maps the growth of settlements in the previously nomadic north of Kenya. Thanks to Google Earth our team can easily extract data that will help us preserve elephant paths and encourage peaceful coexistence between elephants and people.
Our Mission: To secure a future for elephants and sustain the beauty and ecological integrity of the places they live, to promote man’s delight in their intelligence and the diversity of their world, and to develop a tolerant relationship between the two species.