The impact of the poaching crisis is said to have far-reaching consequences including reduced income from tourism and increased crime rates to degraded ecosystems.
The world will on Friday August 12, 2016 celebrate World Elephant Day, a day set aside to honor elephants, spread awareness about the violent and critical threats they are facing, as well as to support positive solutions that will help ensure their survival.
A statement released here in the run-up to the day, Matthew Brown, Africa Region Conservation Director for The Nature Conservancy said, “World Elephant Day is an important opportunity to bring global awareness to the impacts of elephant poaching.
Poaching is decimating elephants and hurts the people who live where elephants range by fueling crime and scaring away tourists who bring income to families who desperately need it.”
Brown recommends the way forward to the poaching crisis around the world, “Elephant conservation can’t just be about guys with guns enforcing laws.
The community has to be involved. Community-based conservation has to be comprehensive. It has to affect peoples’ incomes, their healthcare, and their education. But if you can address what the community needs, you can get people invested in conservation. And that can lead to a range of benefits for the community and for wildlife.”
Elephant numbers have dropped by 62 percent over the last decade, and they could be mostly extinct by the end of the next decade.
An estimated 100 African elephants are killed each day by poachers seeking ivory, meat and body parts, leaving only 400,000 remaining.
An insatiable lust for ivory products in the Asian market makes the illegal ivory trade extremely profitable, and has led to the slaughter of tens of thousands of African elephants.
Between 2010 and 2014, the price of ivory in China tripled, driving illicit poaching through the roof.
As of 2011, the world was losing more elephants than the population can reproduce, threatening the future of African elephants across the continent.
Bull elephants with big tusks are the main targets and their numbers have been diminished to less than half of the females.
Female African elephants have tusks and are also killed, which has a terrible effect on the stability of elephant societies, leaving an increasing number of orphaned baby elephants.
Some 60 percent of Africa’s lands and waters as well as community property are managed by the people who live on them. These people are undoubtedly the most vulnerable on earth.
A continuing threat is their lack of control over the communal lands and waters they depend on for survival.
And as the people struggle, so too does the wildlife that relies on the same resources. An absence of strong institutions and governance further compounds these challenges.
The Nature Conservancy, a charitable environmental organization is focused on perfecting and exporting the best examples of community-led conservation across the continent’s vast shared lands and waters.
To find a lasting solution to the problem, the Nature Conservancy has put in place a program of action by teaming up with partners around the world to solve the complex crisis vis-a-vis increasing security for elephants, conserving millions of acres of habitat, reducing the demand for ivory, and engaging local communities.
Its mission is to “conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. The Conservancy pursues non-confrontational, pragmatic solutions to conservations challenges working with partners including indigenous communities, businesses, governments, multilateral institutions, and other non-profits.
In Africa, the environmental organization has launched demonstration projects in northern Kenya, northern and western Tanzania, western Zambia, northern Namibia, Gabon and the West Indian Ocean.
Through such projects, it has protected more than 37 million acres of land, freshwater and marine habitat by building local institutions and cultivating a culture of conservation. Enditem
Source: Francis Tandoh/NewsGhana.com.gh