Make Ivory History

Elephant Infogrpahic (English)


Daphne Sheldrick writes:
"With the illegal ivory priced as it is today, driven by the demand in the Far East (particularly China), saving the African elephant is now the responsibility of the international community through the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). It is beyond the capability of the elephant range states to control the poaching driven by this demand. The sale of all ivory, be it legal or illegal, must be banned totally with those countries that destroy (burn) their ivory stockpiles compensated, and those that don't, punished. 
The elephant is an iconic species sharing with us humans many of the same emotions -- the same sense of family and the same sense of death. To kill such an animal for a trinket made from its tooth is an abomination that should be punished severely, particularly in this, the 21st century, when humankind should have at least understood that all species benefit the Earth as a whole and that the Earth does not exist solely for us humans, but is home to many other species who have evolved along with it, and are necessary to its well-being. 
People must persuade political representatives who will be making such decisions at CITES to vote to save the elephants rather than being influenced by trade."
~Dr. Dame Daphne Sheldrick in a recent online newspiece August 2012.~
(Source: The Daily Nightly )
The Ecologist: November 8th 2012

As ideas go, the notion that elephant conservation would in any way be best served by making a legal supply of ivory available was unconvincing from the very start says conservationist Mary Rice

"I find it astonishing that we're still debating any merit to legal ivory trading.
When the international ban on trade in ivory – in which the findings of the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) played a key role – was put in place in 1989, it came at the end of a 10-year period in which it was estimated that, on average, at least one elephant died every 10 minutes." [Read More]

Jabu - Botswana. Photo (c) Douglas Groves. used with permission

Elephant Advocacy Presents: Dying for Ivory. View on YouTube here:

Every day 100 African Elephants die for the trade in ivory.
When the buying stops, the killing can too.... 


Setiap hari, 100 ekor Gajah Afrika dibunuh untuk pasaran gading gajah.
Apabila permintaan dihentikan, pembunuhan juga akan tamat

हर दिन 100 अफ्रीकी हाथी हाथीदांत में व्यापार के लिए मर जाते हैं.जब खरीद बंद हो जाता है, की हत्या भी कर सकते हैं   

As Elephant Advocates there can be no more pressing issue than the rampant slaughter of wild elephants across all African Range States for their tusks. The world watches in horror; or mostly, doesn't watch at all. Every year 35,000 elephants are killed, their faces hacked off and their tusks shipped via Asian nations to (mainly) China for the Illegal Ivory market.  

We must call for a total ban on the trade of Ivory, no sale of stockpiles and destruction of ivory stockpiles the world over.. 

From Wild Aid

The Environmental Investigation Agency has just released an important new report showing that the illegal trade in Ivory is flourishing unchecked and unregulated in parts of China. EIA call on the EU and UK to strip China of its "Approved Buyer" status.  [read more]

On 8th November 2012 The Ecologist published an article that outlines the awful consequences of two "one off" sales to Japan and China.

An unprecedented surge in ivory seizures occurred
in 2011. Media reported that 5,259 elephant tusks
were seized worldwide in that year alone, representing
the lives of at least 2,629 elephants. In spite of the
government’s efforts to regulate the ivory trade, China
continues to be the world’s main recipient of smuggled

CITES and Trade
As harrowing as it is for Advocates to contemplate the sale and international movement of the body parts of Elephants it is imperative that we be as fully informed as we can be to activate and advocate effectively on behalf of Elephants. [A great source of information is the new Save the Elephants project 'Elephants in Peril' you can visit their website here:]

CITES is the international treaty mandated with the oversight of the trade of endangered fauna and flora to ensure that the trade in specimens does not threaten the survival of the species. The treaty is ratified by 175 countries, otherwise known as 'Parties'. Understanding the basics in what CITES is, what they do and who the main players are in relation to Elephants, which countries either support trade or are opposed to trade etc. is important. [read more from ElephantVoices]

The international trade in ivory was banned in 1989 but, following a brief respite, poaching and ivory smuggling have steadily risen to the point that 2011 was declared the worst year for elephants since the ban was put in place. [source EIA] See notes below.

The Current "trade" status (as at a pre-release Appendix for 3 April 2012) at CITES for Elephants is Appendix I. Elephas maximus (Asian Elephant) and Loxodonta africana (African Elephant), with the exception of the populations of Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe, which are included in Appendix II. To learn more about what the Appendices mean read the information from CITES here: The CITES Appendices.

In November 2008, China bought just over 60 tonnes of stockpiled ivory from Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe at auction. EIA contend that rather than helping to 'regulate' the trade this supposed 'one-off' sale has added 
to the market to launder illegal Ivory.

At the Conference of Parties 15 (CoP15) in Dohar in March 2010 - Zambia and Tanzania put a proposal on the table to be able to sell their stockpiles and to downlist Elephants from Appendix I to Appendix II. They were supported by Botswana, South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe. The proposal failed. This paper Elephants, Ivory and Trade  authored by 28 scientists put the case for proper scientific basis to decision making prior to the Cop15. The report is excellent background reading as a scientific case for not allowing the sale of stockpiles or the down listing of Elephants on the Appendices. 
The next meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP16) to CITES will be held in Thailand in March 2013, when the ivory trade will once more be on the agenda.

EIA reports "CITES remains the main mechanism through which illegal trade in ivory can be addressed and is central to affecting change. The closure of ‘legal’ markets would remove the incentive of many of the largest, most profitable syndicates to poach and traffic ivory, arguably constituting the most decisive, unequivocal way of protecting elephant populations around the globe." [Source]

We must do all we can to call on the Member States to impose a total ban on the trade in Ivory. To support the work of the African Elephant Coalition *countries, the Kenya Elephant Forum, ElephantVoices, EIA, IFAW and other civil bodies with the clout and knowledge to stop the trade in Ivory. 

Now more than ever we must provide a clear and united voice to our Governments that we stand for Elephants and call on them in their capacity as Member States (or Parties) to CITES to do all they can to to implement a total ban and effect rigorous pursuit of law and enforcement against all perpetrators of the trade in ivory. 

Zimbabwe, January 2012. Killed and stripped of her Ivory. Photo: T.Warth.

Blood Ivory - The EIA documentary about the Ivory Trade shown on NatGeo Wild

African: As at 2007 the population of African Elephants is thought to be 472,000 (definite) with a further 160,000 (probable, possible and speculative). [Source: Save the Elephants] [Read More]

Asian: "A recent estimate for the global population size of the Asian elephant was 41,410–52,345 animals Sukumar (2003) The estimated population size for each country was: Bangladesh 150–250; Bhutan 250–500; Cambodia 250–600; China 200–250; India 26,390–30,770; Indonesia 2,400–3,400; Lao PDR 500–1,000; Malaysia 2,100–3,100; Myanmar 4,000–5,000; Nepal 100–125; Sri Lanka 2,500–4,000; Thailand 2,500–3,200; and Viet Nam 70–150 (Sukumar, 2003) . [Source:  ICUN Redlist[Read More]

Poaching Deaths
From 2008-2012 the amount of seized Ivory was 73,294 Kilograms representing the deaths of 7,329 Elephants killed for their tusks. [Source: EIA] The fact that the seizures are only the tip of the iceberg and an estimated 35,000 elephants a year [Source: Wild Aid] are slaughtered, therefore in this same period an extrapolated 140,000 Elephants were butchered for their tusks.

*The African Elephant Coalition (AEC)  includes 24 of the 37 African elephant Range States. They are: Benin,  Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic  Republic of Congo, Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana,  Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo, Liberia, Southern Sudan, and Rwanda. Mauritania is a member as a non-range state.
The composition of the AEC includes high-level government officials from national wildlife management authorities and technical and scientific representatives from civil society, with small secretariats in each member state. The Coalition is therefore a powerful lobbying voice at CITES Conference of the Parties (CoP) meetings. [source ElephantVoices]


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Every day 100 African Elephants die for the trade in ivory. When the buying stops, the killing can too....
anpetu iyohi opawinge wasincunsapa Ta owihanke on kin tokiyopeya sni pasuhanska hi tohan kin opeton Na'zinkiya kin kte teya okihi Ekta

Masiku onse dzana limodzi la njobvu za mu Africa zimafa cifukwa ca malondo a minyanga. Ngati kugula minyanga kuima, kuphanso njobvu kungaime.

Chila buushiku umwande umo uwa nsofu sha muno Africa, shilafwa umulanda wakushitishiwa kwa ameno, ukushitishiwa kwa ameno nga kwapwaa ninshi no kwipaaya kwa nsofu kuti kwapwa.

Kila siku ndovu mia moja sinakufa kwa sababu ya biashara ya pembe, tukisimamisha biashara ya pembe ya ndofu, tunazui kufa kwao.

Kee ltomie eep nabo tanpari tankarake mirata e lala, tinikintasheiye mirita e lala meitoki abaki ltomie aaye

Каждый день 100 африканских слонов погибают для добычи слоновой кости. Когда прекратится торговля - прекратится и убийство слонов...
Jeden Tag sterben 100 Elefanten wegen des Elfenbeinhandels. Wenn das Kaufen aufhört, hört auch das Morden auf...
 Onko tosiaan näin, että joka päivä 100 Afrikan norsua kuolee sarviensa tähden? Sarvet jauhetaan sitten potenssilääkkeiksi sanonko millaisille.. no jatänpä sanomatta...


Setiap hari, 100 ekor Gajah Afrika dibunuh untuk pasaran gading gajah. Apabila permintaan dihentikan, pembunuhan juga akan tamat

हर दिन 100 अफ्रीकी हाथी हाथीदांत में व्यापार के लिए मर जाते हैं.जब खरीद बंद हो जाता हैकी हत्या भी कर सकते हैं
Chaque jour, 100 éléphants d'Afrique meurent à cause du commerce de l'ivoire. Lorsque les gens arrêteront d'en acheter, le massacre pourra alors enfin s'arrêter également...

Cada día 100 elefants africans són morts pel tràfic d'ivori. Quan les compres s'aturin, els assessinats podrán també...
Cada día 100 elefantes africanos mueren por el tráfico de marfil. Cuando las compras se paren, los asesinatos también podrán...

Daagliks word 100 Afrika Olifante uitgewis vir die handel in ivoor. As die handeldryf in ivoor gestop word, kan die uitwis van olifante verhoed word...
Cada dia 100 elefantes africanos morrem por causa do tráfico de marfim. Se ninguem comprar, a matança vai parar...
Ogni giorno 100 Elefanti africani muoiono per il mestiere nell'avorio. Quando l'acquisto ferma, la lattina mortale anche... 
Elke dag sterven 100 Afrikaanse olifanten voor de handel in ivoor. Als het kopen van ivoor gestopt kan worden, kan eindelijk het afslachten ook stoppen...

Hver dag dør 100 elefanter på grund af handlen med elfenben. Stop handlen og dermed også nedslagtningen
Thank you to friends of Elephants for providing the translations. 
Anna T, Ale-Handro G, Winona K,  David F, Kelly S, Nadya N, Kerstin B, Dev M, Martta-Liisa H, Shannon V, Xavier S, Trisha V, Lynn W, Hilde O, Paw G, Anna T, Monic W, Audrey A.