Burn Baby Burn.
The U.S. is scheduled to crush its ivory stockpile on October 8, 2013, four days after The International March for Elephants takes place around the world on October 4 and the timing couldn’t be better. The march intends to generate awareness internationally about the potential extinction of these animals by 2025 due to sanctioned ivory sales, illegal poaching and wildlife trafficking. Strategically, the U.S. is set to get some nice branding “mileage” here as a leader in this effort just by crushing the stockpile right on the heels of this major event.
Somebody was smart, or just lucky perhaps.
For more information about The International March for Elephants, please visit: http://www.iworry.org/.
Destroying stockpiles reduces the value of ivory and intends to reduce demand. It also sends a signal which countries are in support of reducing the value of animal parts that fuel the illegal wildlife trade, regardless of the global laws or governments that enable or support “sanctioned” or “permissive” legal trading initiatives. China, Vietnam, Malaysia as well as the US remain some of the world’s top ivory consuming countries regardless of recent statistics that estimate the extinction of wild elephants within the next 10-12 years.
The U.S. stockpile is approximately 6-tons and includes raw and carved whole tusks as well as smaller items seized by or abandoned to U.S. agents within the last 25 years. The estimated value of the stockpile is $12 million dollars. The destruction initiative was heavily influenced by former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and also signals that The White House is following through with Obama’s recent executive order on July 13 titled “Combating Wildlife Trafficking”. In this order, approximately $10million dollars has been earmarked for training and bilateral assistance for South Africa, Kenya, and throughout sub-Saharan Africa.
Kenya is scheduled to receive $3 million in bilateral assistance which aims to strengthen policies and legislative frameworks, enhance investigative and law enforcement functions, support regional cooperation among enforcement agencies, and further develop capacities to prosecute and adjudicate crimes related to wildlife trafficking.
Another step forward for Africa’s elephants and as well as those around the world.