Wow -- the petition to protect endangered elephants from ivory poachers is exploding -- in just over 72 hours, more than 300,000 of us have signed the call to the UN to uphold the ban on ivory trading and save whole populations of these magnificent animals. The crucial UN vote is expected this week.
Tanzania and Zambia 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 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 Tanzania and Zambia are seeking, 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 Tanzania and Zambia are successful in exploiting the loophole, 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 -- sign the petition now and then forward it widely:
Across the world's cultures and throughout our history elephants have been revered in religions and have captured our imagination -- Babar, Dumbo, Ganesh, Airavata, Erawan. But today these beautiful and highly intelligent creatures are being annihilated.
As long as there is demand for ivory, elephants are at risk from poaching and smuggling -- but this week we have a chance to protect them and crush the ivory criminals' profits -- sign the petition now:
Paul, Alice, Iain, Ricken, Graziela, Raluca, Luis, Paula Benjamin, David, Ben and the rest of the Avaaz team
Partners at Bloody Ivory and Born Free:
The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species: http://www.cites.org