As some of you may know I work to raise awareness of the issues facing the world’s remaining Asian and African elephants. I am part of a group based in Vancouver called Elephanatics. We are a conservation group that does educational outreach, action and advocacy in Canada on behalf of elephants.
For the last two years we have organized a event in Vancouver that is part of a global, grassroots initiative called The Global March for Elephants and Rhinos. Last year over 140 cities organized worldwide. This year we hope to have even more cities participate. Our goal is put continued pressure on governments and policy makers worldwide to end the ivory and rhino horn trade and to save many of Africa’s endangered species by moving them to Appendix 1 under the convention of the international trade in endangered wildlife and fauna known as CITES.
We are encouraging people in cities around the world to organize events large and small (last year two elderly women organized an event on their street corner which was completely inspiring!)
Without global action elephants and rhinos will be extinction with 10 to 25 years.
On September 24th events will be held worldwide for the opening day of CoP17 in Johannesburg.
Vital decisions on elephants, rhinos and lions are to be made at CoP17 by 181 members of CITES. Our objectives are to halt all trade and to get governments (who are CITES members) to change laws, have political will to stop the trade.
Last year over 50,000 people marched to raise awareness and to demand an end to the poaching crisis that is pushing them rapidly towards extinction.
The poaching of elephants and rhinos has reached unprecedented heights in recent years as the demand for ivory and rhino horn has soared in China and other mainly Asian markets.
An elephant is brutally killed every 15 minutes – 35,000 every year.
A rhino is poached every 11 hours with an estimated 24,000 left in the world. Over 1,000 rhinos were poached last year alone, compared to 13 in 2007.
Speakers at Vancouver’s events this year are:
Patricia Sims – Co-Founder of the annual World Elephant Day, a global awareness campaign that brings attention to the critical threats facing elephants. The campaign reaches millions of individuals across the globe through events, traditional media, and social media outreach.
She produced, directed and wrote the documentary When Elephants Were Young, narrated by William Shatner which won best documentary awards in both the Whistler Film Festival and Palm Springs FF..
Paul Blackthorne is an English Actor for film, television, and radio. He is currently a lead actor in the series “Arrow” which is filmed in Vancouver BC. Over the past three years he has collaborated with different conservation organizations to help raise awareness about the poaching crisis facing the African elephant and the rhino. He has run two successful t-shirt campaigns: One in Vietnam for the rhino with the slogan “Keep Rhinos Horny” and another for the elephant “Poach Eggs Not Elephants”.He is a committed social activist for wildlife conservation and has implemented a range of activities calling for joint global efforts to save wild animals, especially the elephant and rhino.
Mike Farnworth is the current NDP MLA for Port Coquitlam.
He serves as Opposition Spokesperson for Justice (Public Safety and Solicitor General).
Mike has been adamant in trying to fight a loophole in Canadian law that allows rhino horn to be sold if it can be proven to be obtained before 1975. Illegal horn is easily mixed with legal horn and thus forms a loophole. He recently tabled a private members bill at the legislature to outlaw the sale of ivory and rhino horn.
Join us on Twitter: @condofire @elephanaticsBC
Here is a short informational video about the ivory trade: