Without international cooperation from world leaders and law enforcement officials, the survival of this species hangs in the balance.
Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) September 26, 2013
Thousands across the globe expected to join International March for Elephants
On Friday October 4th thousands of people are to march in solidarity for elephants in 15 cities around the world, including Los Angeles, (at Wilshire Federal Bldg., Westwood, 11 am to 2 pm) in the single largest demonstration of awareness for the species’ imminent extinction.
The International March for Elephants will raise global awareness of the illegal ivory trade and its dire impact on elephant populations. Organised by iworry, an awareness and advocacy campaign by Kenyan conservation charity The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (DSWT), the organisers say preventing the slaughter of elephants for their ivory has never been more vitally important than it is today. Though laws ban the trade in ivory internationally, the continued demand in consumer countries has resulted in a thriving black market and elephant poaching. As a result of the illegal ivory and wildlife trade:
- One elephant is killed every 15 minutes for their tusks and 36,000 elephants are slaughtered annually.
- Criminal syndicates and terrorist groups, exploiters of the trade, threaten global and national security.
- In countries and communities where tourism is the main earner, millions of people risk losing their livelihoods and face poverty and increased unemployment rates.
- Any decline in tourism revenue for developing countries could lead to increased international aid spending, funded by tax payers, to redress a likely fall in income.
- Over 1,000 wildlife rangers* have been killed in the course of protecting the elephants over the last decade, leaving families without fathers, husbands and income earners.
In Kenya where tourism supports approximately one in four jobs, just 30,000 elephants remain. In the first eight months of 2013 a reported 190 elephants and two forest rangers were killed for their ivory. Founder of the DSWT Dr Dame Daphne Sheldrick DBE, voices her concerns, “A world without elephants is hard to comprehend. Their extinction would not only bring heartbreak, but a substantial and severe strain on Africa’s political and economic stability.” Dame Daphne’s knowledge of elephants’ intelligence and human-like emotions is unrivalled, having successfully rescued and hand-reared more than 150 orphaned infant elephants.
The iWorry campaign has so far gathered the support of many including award winning actress Kristin Davis, British actress Joanna Lumley and True Blood Star Kristin Bauer van Straten who states, “We simply must work together to make a statement to our Governments.” She continues, “The killing can and must stop and it will, but only if we work together.”
Los Angeles and its residents will join 14 other global cities in calling for worldwide action to protect elephants. UK Director of the DSWT, Rob Brandford, says governments, including the US have a vital role to play, “Without international cooperation from world leaders and law enforcement officials, the survival of this species hangs in the balance.” He continues, “Ultimately, the decline of elephant populations affects us all, whether it be emotionally, economically or morally.”
Participating cities include Arusha, Bangkok, Buenos Aires, Cape Town, Edinburgh, London, Los Angeles, Melbourne, Munich, Nairobi, New York City, Rome, Toronto, Washington DC and Wellington. Learn more at: http://www.iworry.org
For media, to schedule an interview or for sponsorship inquiries, contact Lucy Read at: lucy(at)sheldrickwildlifetrust(dot)org Los Angeles media contact: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
*Stat: The Thin Green Line Foundation (August 2013)
Notes for editors:
- The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust is committed to protecting and preserving wildlife and habitats in Kenya. A not-for-profit organisation with over 35 years’ experience working at a field level, their projects include Anti-Poaching initiatives, Mobile Veterinary Teams, rescuing, hand rearing and reintegrating orphaned elephants and rhinos and Community Outreach.
- The iworry campaign was launched by Award Winning actress and Patron of the DSWT, Kristin Davis in the wake of increased poaching across Africa, including Kenya. The campaign calls for global action to protect elephants and presented a 40,000 strong petition to the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora in March 2013 calling for stronger international action to protect elephants.
- The march will use the @iworrytrade twitter page using #march4ellies and #1every15 to promote the issue and will otherwise use social media (http://www.facebook.com/iworrytrade) to build support for the effort.
- For more information please contact Lucy on: Email: Lucy(at)sheldrickwildlifetrust(dot)org Phone: 01372 378321 Visit: http://www.dswt.org and http://www.iworry.org