Canada Refuses an Ivory Ban Motion to Protect Endangered Elephants

Vancouver – Global March for Elephants and Rhinos Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Canada Refuses an Ivory Ban Motion to Protect Endangered Elephants

Prior to the Global March for Elephants and Rhinos

Vancouver Joins the Global March with a Mardi Gras for Elephants and Rhino

Vancouver, BC, September 15, 2016 – Canada was one of only four countries that objected to motion by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) last weekend. The motion called for every country to ban their internal trade of ivory and would help protect elephants facing extinction due to rampant poaching. The ban is enthusiastically supported by 145 cities participating in the Global March for Elephants and Rhinos on September 24. Well over 50,000 people are expected to march in 38 countries, to coincide with the first day of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) conference

The feud between Canada, South Africa, Namibia and Japan, versus the other 213 government agencies at the World Conservation Congress, caused walkouts and threats of cancelled membership. Canada argued that the ivory ban would affect the hunting of walrus and narwhal by the Inuit in Canada’s Arctic. The two government agencies that abstained were the Canada Parks Agency and Canadian Museum of Nature.

An African elephant is killed every 15 minutes and a rhino is poached every 8 hours, sometimes enduring days of pain before death. There are fewer than 400,000 elephants and 18,000 rhinos left in the wild in Africa. At this rate, it is estimated that both species face extinction in the wild in as soon as 10 years.

While the IUCN motion is not legally binding, it is hoped that it will encourage a commitment to both an international and domestic ban of ivory trade at the upcoming conference in Johannesburg. John Scanlon, secretary-general of CITES has said the conference “is without doubt one of the most critical meetings of CITES in its 43-year history.”

Canada is a signatory to CITES but is yet to publicly state the level of protection it intends to afford elephants, when it votes at the conference. Given the significance of this year’s conference, the Global March for Elephants and Rhinos is poised to be the world’s largest demonstration to save animals. Vancouver, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Sudbury, London, Toronto, Montreal and Halifax will all take part.

Elephanatics, an elephant conservation non-profit group in Vancouver, is hosting the city’s third year of participation in the Global March with a Mardi Gras for Elephants and Rhinos. The family-friendly celebration of these iconic animals facing a tenuous future, is free to attend at Creekside Park beside Science World on Saturday, September 24 from 12pm – 2pm.

Activities will be free or by-donation and will cater to all ages. Attendees can also learn how easy it is to help save the few elephants and rhinos that remain. Live music, Mardi Gras necklaces, elephant mask-making, wildlife face painting, henna tattoos, a pro-animal graffiti wall, and an elephant costume competition (for humans and dogs!) will be available. A professional photographer will give guests a photo of themselves beside a 2-metre high elephant or rhino image. Elephanatics also promise the biggest “trunk sale” of pachyderm-themed jewelry, homewares and clothing. All donations benefit the Elephant Crisis Fund – an anti-poaching initiative from Save the Elephants and the Wildlife Conservation Network.

“Can you imagine your children not ever being able to see a live elephant in the wild? The Mardi Gras is a unique opportunity to tell Canada’s CITES delegates to stand with the rest of the world and stop the poaching. Canadians don’t want a world without elephants, but we have to speak up at this event or it might be too late. Elephants don’t forget – so let’s not forget elephants,” explained Fran Duthie, Co-Founder, Education Director and Volunteer at Elephanatics.

Patricia Sims, an award-winning documentary filmmaker (When Elephants Were Young) will explain how an ivory sale price in China of CAD$1,500 per kilogram attracts international terrorist groups like the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). Sims co-founded World Elephant Day (August 12). Now in its fifth year, the initiative partners with 100 elephant conservation organizations worldwide.

Film and television actor, Paul Blackthorne (“Quentin Lance” in Vancouver-filmed Arrow), will also be a guest speaker. “It is more important than ever to support awareness raising efforts which pressure governments to implement and enforce wildlife crime laws. We simply can’t be the generation responsible for the extinction of elephants and rhino,” says Blackthorne.

Also joining the speaker’s panel is NDP MLA Mike Farnworth who has tabled a private member’s bill (M-234) banning the sale of ivory and rhino horn. This bill closes a loophole that permits trade in ivory and rhino horn in British Columbia.

To tell CITES delegates to provide elephants with the highest level of protection, a petition can be signed at http://www.elephanatics.org/blog. To take part in history’s largest and most powerful global wildlife event, join the Mardi Gras for Elephants and Rhinos and demand an end to poaching on Saturday September 24 beside Science World.

About Elephanatics

Elephanatics is a non-profit organization founded in May 2013 in Vancouver. It is run exclusively by volunteers who aim to help the long-term survival of African and Asian elephants through conservation, education and action. Elephanatics first introduced Vancouver to the Global March for Elephants and Rhinos in October 2014 and has hosted the annual free event ever since. www.elephanatics.org

About Global March for Elephants and Rhinos

Global March for Elephants and Rhinos is a registered, non-profit organization in the United States. It is a grassroots, worldwide movement demanding an end to ivory and rhino horn trade. The first march was in 2013. www.march4elephantsandrhinos.org

For more information or to book media interviews –

Contact: Tessa Vanderkop

Director of Community Engagement

Elephanatics

elephanaticsinfo@gmail.com

604-789-8886

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Books: The Children Act by Ian McEwan

I stole this book from my brother-in-law’s bedside table from his cabin in Whistler. I know. Nasty. But it’s Ian McEwan so I felt there was a certain ” I have to…it’s Ian McEwan.” So I did, convincing myself that I would read quickly and return it  to the bedside table by the end of the weekend. Well, I didn’t quite make it. But I did finish it which is more than I can say for some books I’m not wild about. But that’s because Ian McEwan is a fantastic writer and no matter what he does, he knows how to pull a reader in and keep them reading. Even, in this case, if he’s boring the reader ( me) to death.

Sigh. The Children Act. I could probably read some literary reviews that will tell me why this book is brilliant…. that the sonata the main character plays at her piano concert are the same structure as the book, a tickly little surprise for those in the know.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t make myself care. I didn’t care about the middle aged judge or her marriage that was in ruins. I didn’t care about her career trajectory as an ambitious young girl to esteemed member of the British judiciary. I couldn’t care about her relationship with her husband and her childlessness.

I was mildly interested in her cases. It’s interesting seeing the legal structures and thinking that goes into making life changing decisions for people. And in this case it was the story of a young 17 year old Jehovah’s Witness that she had to make a decision on. Basic facts of the case: he has leukaemia and is refusing treatment on the basis of religious grounds. What she has to decide is if he is under undue influence of his religion or parents and whether he is old enough at almost 18 to legally make a decision for himself.

What transpires is a connection between child and esteemed worn out judge when she decides to meet him in person. What further transpires is a subsequent meeting between the two when the young man decides to go in search of her….and it’s clear that in both meetings they are touched by each other. Feelings are sparked. Somehow they are both able to clearly see the best of the other person.

I’ll leave it at that. I really like Ian McEwan. He’s one of my favourite writers. So effortless. From the first word he draws you into the world he creates for his characters. Unfortunately, this was a world I wasn’t overly interested in.

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Canadians Demand An End to the Ivory and Rhino Horn Trade

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Elephants and Rhinos: Going, Going… Gone

Vancouver Joins Global March for Elephants and Rhinos with a “Celebration of Life” Mardi Gras

Vancouver, BC, September __, 2016 – Vancouver-based Elephanatics, a local elephant conservation group, is hosting the third annual “Mardi Gras for Elephants and Rhinos: A Celebration of Life”. The family-friendly event on September 24 at Creekside Park beside Science World, raises awareness of the plight facing the world’s remaining elephants and rhinos.

An African elephant is killed every 15 minutes and a rhino is killed every 8 hours. At this rate of poaching, conservationists estimate they both face extinction in the wild within the next 10 to 20 years.

This year’s Global March for Elephants and Rhinos is poised to be the largest demonstration of its kind, with over 125 cities around the world holding events on September 24. This is the opening day of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) meeting of member nations in Johannesburg, who will vote on the level of protection given to elephants, rhinos and other species facing extinction. Canada is a signatory to CITES and is yet to publicly state the position it will take at the meeting.

In Vancouver, the event will be a free admission “Mardi Gras for Elephants and Rhinos”. Guest speaker Patricia Sims, a Victoria-based award-winning documentary filmmaker (When Elephants Were Young) says, “The Global March for Elephants and Rhinos is a rallying call for people to support organizations that are working to stop the illegal poaching and trade of elephant ivory and other wildlife products; protect wild elephant habitat; and provide sanctuaries and alternative habitats for domestic elephants to live freely.”

Echoing these sentiments is Paul Blackthorne, British TV and film actor, and star of the popular, locally filmed TV series Arrow. Also a guest speaker at the Mardi Gras, he says, “The poaching crisis continues, with both elephants and rhinos heading toward extinction in ten years. This is why it’s more important than ever to support awareness raising efforts which pressure relevant governments to implement and enforce wildlife crime laws. Rhinos and elephants have been around for millions of years – we can’t be the generation responsible for their extinction. Come to the Mardi Gras on September 24 and help do your bit to save these beautiful creatures.”

Also joining the speaker’s panel is NDP MLA Mike Farnworth who has tabled a private member’s bill (M 234 – 2016) banning the sale of ivory and rhino horn. This bill closes a loophole that permits trade in ivory and rhino horn in British Columbia.

The “Mardi Gras for Elephants and Rhinos: A Celebration of Life” is for all ages and will include free and by-donation activities where animal lovers can:

  • enjoy live music from local musicians
  • get creative at the Mardi Gras Elephant Mask Craft Table
  • encourage the kids to high-five a walking elephant mascot
  • treat the family to an elephant or rhino face painting
  • write their own pro-elephant message on the Mardi Gras “Graffiti Wall”
  • have a photographer take their photo beside a two-metre-high elephant image

Where: Creekside Park, 1455 Quebec Street, Vancouver (beside Science World)

When: September 24th – 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm

Admission: Free

More Information: Please visit http://www.elephanatics.org

About the Speakers

Patricia Sims – Award-Winning Filmmaker & Co-Founder of World Elephant Day

World Elephant Day (August 12) was founded with the Elephant Reintroduction Foundation of Thailand, an initiative of HM Queen Sirikit of Thailand. Now in its fifth year of global awareness building, it has partnerships with 100 elephant conservation organizations worldwide.

Paul Blackthorne – English Actor for Film, Television and Radio

Over the past three years he has collaborated with conservation organizations to raise awareness about the elephant and rhino poaching crisis. He ran two successful t-shirt campaigns: “Keep Rhinos Horny” and “Poach Eggs Not Elephants”.

Mike Farnworth – NDP MLA for Port Coquitlam

Mike serves as Opposition Spokesperson for Justice (Public Safety and Solicitor General). He is adamantly fighting a loophole allowing illegal rhino horn to be mixed and sold with legal horn that can be proven to be obtained before 1975. He recently tabled a private member’s bill at the legislature to outlaw the sale of ivory and rhino horn.

About Elephanatics

Elephanatics was formed in May, 2013. It is an elephant advocacy organization based in Vancouver, British Columbia. Its mission is to help the long-term survival of African and Asian elephants by raising awareness and disseminating information regarding the enormous challenges and suffering that elephants face in Africa’s poaching crisis and in Asia’s tourist trade. Elephanatics hosts Vancouver’s participating in the Global March for Elephants and Rhinos – www.march4elephantsandrhinos.org.

#ENDS

For more information or to book media interviews

Contact: Tessa Vanderkop

Director of Community Engagement

Elephanatics

elephanaticsinfo@gmail.com

604-789-8886

Attached

Elephant Ivory Quick Facts

Elephant Ivory Quick Facts

  • Approximately 36,000 elephants are killed annually for their ivory. That is one elephant every 15 minutes.
  • Canada is in the top 20 countries responsible for 97% of trophy hunting.
  • Environment Canada is responsible to administer and enforce laws that prohibit or strictly limit the importation and sale of elephant products in Canada as set out in the Wild Animal and Plant Protection and Regulation of International and Interprovincial Trade Act (“WAPPRIITA”).
  • WAPPRIITA allows for extremely limited importation and sale of elephant products in Canada, however, loopholes in the laws have allowed black market traders and others to import and sell in Canada elephant products that are strictly prohibited by WAPPRIITA.
  • Terrorist organizations such as the Lord’s Resistance Army, a Ugandan rebel group, fund their criminal activities largely through the sale of elephant ivory.
  • The trafficking of protected wildlife has spiked in the past decade, leading to an annual worldwide trade worth between $10 billion and $30 billion US.
  • Ivory is one of the more commonly trafficked items, and each year 35,000 elephants are killed for their tusks.
  • When restricted items are discovered in Canada, they are confiscated by the Wildlife Enforcement Directorate. The directorate houses many of these pieces in a room in a secret location near Toronto. Most items are used either for educational purposes or destroyed.
  • CBC’s the fifth estate obtained exclusive access to this exhibit room, and provides a guided 360-degree tour of some of the most exotic items in the collection – www.cbc.ca/news/multimedia/an-exclusive-look-inside-a-secret-wildlife-crime-exhibit-room-1.3522808

 

 

 

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Poem of the Week: Someday I’ll Love Ocean Vuong via Poetry Mistress Alison McGhee

Someday I’ll Love Ocean Vuong
– Ocean Vuong

Ocean, don’t be afraid.
The end of the road is so far ahead
it is already behind us.
Don’t worry.
Your father is only your father
until one of you forgets. Like how the spine
won’t remember its wings
no matter how many times our knees
kiss the pavement. Ocean,
are you listening? The most beautiful part
of your body is wherever
your mother’s shadow falls.
Here’s the house with childhood
whittled down to a single red tripwire.
Don’t worry. Just call it horizon
& you’ll never reach it.
Here’s today. Jump. I promise it’s not
a lifeboat. Here’s the man
whose arms are wide enough to gather
your leaving. & here the moment,
just after the lights go out, when you can still see
the faint torch between his legs.
How you use it again & again
to find your own hands.
You asked for a second chance
& are given a mouth to empty into.
Don’t be afraid, the gunfire
is only the sound of people
trying to live a little longer. Ocean. Ocean,
get up. The most beautiful part of your body
is where it’s headed. & remember,
loneliness is still time spent
with the world. Here’s the room with everyone in it.
Your dead friends passing
through you like wind
through a wind chime. Here’s a desk
with the gimp leg & a brick
to make it last. Yes, here’s a room
so warm & blood-close,
I swear, you will wake—& mistake these walls
for skin.

 

For a fascinating and beautiful interview with Ocean Vuong, please click here.

A big thanks to Alison for curating these beautiful poems.

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Poem of the Week: Our Fathers by Joyce Sutphen via Poetry Mistress Alison McGhee

Our Fathers
     – Joyce Sutphen

Our fathers, who lived all their lives on earth—
are going now. They have given us all
we need, and when we asked, they gave us more.

Their names are beautiful to us, holy
as the names of stars, as familiar
as the roads we traveled, falling asleep

on the way from one farm to another.
Their kingdoms were small; they were never
interested in more than one homestead,

and as for evil: although they could not
keep it from us, they tried to keep us from
temptation, though we were like all children

and wanted our own power and glory,
world without end, forever and amen.

 

For more information on Joyce Sutphen, please click here.

Thanks always to Alison for curating and sharing these beautiful word sculptures.Visit her web site here. https://alisonmcghee.com/

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A Woman in Berlin – by Anonymous

30851I am on a mission to learn about the Second World War. Not about generals and strategy  but about the people who lived and survived it.  Primo Levy’s book Survival in Auschwitz was a great book. An incredible story of survival that demonstrates just how damn hard it is to survive.

A Woman in Berlin is no different. It’s written by a journalist who chronicles what happens to the people in her  apartment block (including herself) over two months at the end of the war when the Russians are beating down on the city.

Through the framework of her apartment block she shows you the minutiae of war. Who are the people hiding in cellars, what are they eating, wearing, where does water come from, what is the daily, hourly, minute by minute search for food like, where is her neighbour’s husband, where is her boyfriend, what is the news from the front, where is Herr Hitler and his group of bandits now? Do Nazis walking the street, knowing that defeat is imminent, still feel comfortable declaring their party status? What is the news from the concentration camps, thousands upon thousands dead she hears. There is no news service, no electricity, no running water ,no heat. It’s cold and miserable. She’s moved in with her neighbour and sleeps with a Russian officer to keep fed, does this make her a whore? She is raped, her neighbour is raped. She is raped again and then again. And it’s vital that she find protection through an officer who sings drunken Russian songs, whispers secrets in her ear, longs for love, brings her food which she shares. This makes her of value to her neighbour. It keeps her alive.

The Russians occupy the city breaking into apartments and homes. And when nightfall they help themselves to everything. This story is no picnic. Yet what makes it compelling is its utter lack of sentimentality. The chronicler of this story doesn’t feel sorry for herself, she eyes the world around her with an intelligent, sardonic eye. She uses the Russian she sleeps with to her advantage. She’s kind and funny. But she is not sentimental. She doesn’t feel sorry for herself. Perhaps not even for others. She witnesses the ravages of war in all its  human mundanity.

I was sad when this book ended. I wanted to talk to this person all night long and drink whiskey. Undoubtedly we’d have some laughs at the folly of men, of political rogues and  at the strangeness and cruelty of the  upside down world. She is as contemporary as anyone I know. There is a universality about her writing that seems so specific to her. I’m in love.

Sometimes people ask “Who would you spend an evening with? ” I would spend an evening talking to this woman any time.

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Lucy in Captivity – The Ethics of Moving Her — elephanatics

Lucy is one of the world’s most controversial elephants. She lives alone in Edmonton’s Valley Zoo. For year’s activists have tirelessly campaigned to have her moved to a sanctuary where she can live out her life in a warmer climate with other elephants. Elephants are known to be exceptionally emotionally intelligent and social animals. On […]

via Lucy in Captivity – The Ethics of Moving Her — elephanatics

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