Overview of Efforts:
Stop the Killing: The most rapid progress towards ending the current African elephant poaching crisis will be achieved by bolstering the capacity of range countries to protect elephant populations currently experiencing high poaching levels. Commitment partners have identified 50 protected areas (and their immediate buffer zones), mostly in Central and Eastern Africa, which currently harbor 285,000 elephants, two-thirds of the continental total. Across these sites, the percentage of illegally killed elephants (PIKE) averages 66 percent. CITES MIKE (Monitoring of Illegal Killing of Elephants program), which has promulgated PIKE as the best single measure of poaching intensity, estimates that a value of 50 percent or higher at any site indicates unsustainable killing and population decline. This commitment invests directly in anti-poaching effectiveness by supporting park guards through equipment, training, law enforcement monitoring, mission costs, aerial surveillance, better intelligence, and salary support.
Stop the Trafficking: Partner NGOs will support governments in identifying and implementing priority actions to combat trafficking in ivory. 'One size will not fit all' but a complimentary range of urgent actions around strengthening enforcement capacity at ports and markets; intelligence-led crackdowns on illicit networks; securing ivory stockpiles, and reforming laws and penalties can be tailored to rapidly reduce trafficking. This commitment includes an African government led call for other countries to adopt trade moratoria on all commercial ivory imports, exports and domestic sales of ivory products until African elephant populations are no longer threatened by poaching.
Stop the Demand: As an important step towards a long-term solution to the ivory poaching crisis, partners will work with governments and other stakeholders of priority consumer countries to develop and implement demand reduction strategies, including public awareness campaigns on the causal link between the purchase of ivory products and the elephant poaching crisis in Africa. Strategies developed will elevate understanding of the legal penalties that can be applied to people involved in smuggling or illegal trading of ivory. The overall aim is to change perceptions and purchasing practices in order to reduce consumption of and demand for ivory. Improving penalties and prosecutions will also enhance demand reduction.
The commitment makers and their partners commit to funding and facilitating partnerships between participating governments, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), intergovernmental organizations (IGOs) and concerned citizens. These partnerships will promote activities that will stop the slaughter of elephants in Africa through the adoption of three critical initiatives: 1) Stop the Killing 2) Stop the Trafficking 3) Stop the Demand. This commitment dedicates $80 million to fund efforts born out of these partnerships, which will be further developed as specific CGI commitments in late 2013 and early 2014.
This is an umbrella financial commitment of $80 million that will fund a set of commitments to be developed in 2014 under the following three pillars:
Stop the Killing: NGO partners will dedicate funding to African government efforts to scale up law enforcement in 50 key protected areas in Africa that together harbor 285,000 elephants, two-thirds of the entire African population. Partners project that this investment will reduce the average percentage of illegally killed elephants (PIKE) across these sites from 66 to 48 percent, with elephant population decline halted in half of the sites. This will bring the effort halfway to reversing the decline in Africa's elephant population.
Stop the Trafficking: NGO partners will fund efforts including, capacity building, provision of tools and technology, coordination of information sharing and enforcement collaboration, crack downs on black markets and securing ivory stockpiles along priority trafficking chains from Africa to Asia. They will 1) work together with governments, corporations, civil society and institutions to reach out to range, transit and consumer countries to implement anti-trafficking strategies that will disrupt illicit networks and stem the flow of ivory; and 2) work to support involved governments to monitor and implement their national laws, including domestic moratoria on ivory sales. NGO partners commit to support governments in their efforts to improve the Elephant Trade Law Enforcement Effort Ratio (LEER), which represents how effective law enforcement is in intercepting illegal trade in ivory, to at least 50 percent in all target countries Additionally partners will fund an increase in the number of law enforcement officers and judiciary trained in target countries by 50 percent in 2016, compared to 2011 levels.
Stop the Demand: Partners will work together to reduce the demand for ivory among consumers by funding efforts to increase awareness of the issues and provide mechanisms for civil society actors to take action. Partners pledge to take action to reduce stated intentions to purchase ivory by 25 percent in key markets by the end of 2016. This will be achieved by: 1) producing awareness content/materials and improving penalties and prosecutions that will spur behavior change and/or online action in key consumer countries; 2) generating 10 million actions taken via social media platforms in key consumer countries; and 3) conducting standardized, replicable, scalable public opinion polls and surveys within priority consumer countries.
As one of the world's most lucrative criminal activities, valued at $7-10 billion annually, the illegal wildlife trade ranks fifth globally in terms of value, behind the trafficking in drugs, people, oil and counterfeiting. Increasing consumer demand for ivory, particularly in Asia is causing the price of ivory to skyrocket, driving the illegal trade in elephant ivory, and the mass slaughter of elephants in Africa. Today's ivory traffickers are primarily well-organized syndicates that operate as transnational criminal networks and often participate in other illegal activities, including trafficking in narcotics and weapons, and many have links with terrorist networks. The poachers not only threaten the lives of elephants, but also at least 1,000 park rangers have been killed in the line of duty over the past ten years as they try to protect elephants and other wildlife.
African elephants are being lost at an unprecedented rate and demand for ivory shows no decline. Tens of thousands of elephants are killed illegally every year across Africa with some 35,000 lost in 2012 alone. African forest elephants in particular have been affected by poaching and have declined by 76 percent since 2002. There are now only about 80,000 remaining in the wild. A major challenge to stopping the trafficking is the lack of effective law enforcement controls along the trade chain from Africa, through the transit states, and to the end consumer markets. Legal domestic ivory markets are an enforcement challenge and often serve to provide cover for laundering of ivory from illegally killed elephants in Africa. Once ivory is within a country's borders, it becomes difficult to distinguish legal from illegal ivory. As long as demand for ivory remains high and enforcement effort is low, the legal trade will continue to serve as a front and criminal syndicates will continue to drive elephant poaching across Africa. In order to save elephants, there is a need to address the problem on three fronts: 1) Stop the killing; 2) Stop the trafficking; and 3) Stop the demand.
The partnership seeks additional partners to provide financial or in-kind support totaling $70 million in order to 1) scale up anti-poaching enforcement at the 50 priority elephant sites by hiring and supporting an additional 3,100 park guards, 2) roll out anti-trafficking efforts including technologies, training, sniffer dog teams, etc. at 10 key transit points, and 3) implement demand reduction efforts in 10 consumer markets over the next three years. This level of additional investment would reverse the decline of Africa's elephants.
NGO partners are offering financial resources, technical expertise, monitoring, training and enforcement support, media support and other in-kind resources.