If you are looking for EIA UK, it's overhere.

Mourning the Loss of Esmond Martin

By Allan Thornton, President of EIA

The loss of Esmond Martin, found dead in his Nairobi home over the weekend, is a tragic development not just for his family, friends and colleagues, but for the entire international community and all those who supported the protection of Africa's elephants as well as its rhinos.

I have known Esmond personally since we first visited Kenya in 1989, when EIA was undertaking a two-year investigation into the illegal ivory trade. Esmond, in collaboration with his colleague Lucy Vigne, had - until the moment of his death – been generating the best and most important work of his life. Together, Esmond and Lucy have produced countless reports documenting in detail the exploding demand for illegal ivory; a demand that in China, Vietnam and Laos provided impetus for an international movement to ban domestic ivory trade. The relentless efforts of Esmond and his colleagues have helped drive down ivory demand worldwide, and disrupted ivory poaching across much of Africa.

Esmond was dogged in his pursuit of data to document the flow of ivory as well as the exorbitant prices paid for whole tusks. Esmond was not only tireless, but fearless in gathering detailed evidence and statistics that provided a major source of information to governments; law enforcement agencies; other NGO's; and the world press.

He personally produced the first report several years ago that documented declining prices for ivory in China as government enforcement efforts finally began to kick in. He followed a complex trail to expose a thriving laundering operation for African ivory and rhino horn from Vietnam to China. In December 2016, in no small part due to information Esmond brought to light, the Government of China announced it would ban domestic ivory trade by January 1st, 2018.

Esmond and Lucy followed up to produce new information just last year showing that prices for ivory in China had dropped substantially again; this provided the world community with key information validating and verifying the importance of China's domestic ban in reducing ivory demand in the world's biggest market.

Esmond must have been thrilled – and could certainly have viewed as a personal and professional victory – when the Chinese government news agency began to publicly call out Japan - the world's second largest consumer of ivory for taking no action against its own flourishing illegal ivory trade.

Esmond – with his indefatigable energy and efforts – made an indelible and tangible impact in that the Government of China indeed did act to fulfill its commitments to ban domestic ivory trade. His larger legacy will be that he provided the world with new hope and inspiration that Africa's elephants could be saved from the ivory slaughter. Esmond will be sorely missed by all that knew him; the world owes him our gratitude for the outstanding and timely work he produced.

View all Blog Posts

Recent Blog Posts

Celebrating the Life's Work of Dame Daphne Sheldrick, Savior of Elephants in Africa
04/20/2018
Last week, the wildlife conservationist community, and more importantly the world’s elephants, lost one of their most important and avid champions when Daphne Sheldrick, savior of hundreds of orphaned African elephants, died on April 12 in Nairobi at the age of 83.
EIA Condemns Establishment of Rhino Horn Trade Desk
03/06/2018
EIA condemns the establishment of Rhino Horn Trade Africa (RHTA), an initiative launched yesterday by the South Africa-based Private Rhino Owners Association (PROA).

Recent Reports

How Ivory Hanko Destroyed Africa's Elephants and drives Japan's Illegal Ivory Trade
10/10/2018
Japan’s demand for hanko made of elephant ivory is a modern phenomenon driven by the country’s ivory industry.
象牙のハンコ:日本の違法な象牙取引&アフリカ ゾウの悲劇の元凶
10/10/2018
日本における象牙製ハンコへの需要の興りは、 象牙業界がもたらした現代的な現象である。「ハ ンコ」は、円筒形をした、氏名を押捺するスタンプ である。

Recent Press Releases

Investigation Reveals Hanko Demand Drives Japan's Illegal Ivory Trade
10/10/2018
Nearly 200 retailers in Japan are willing to sell ivory hanko knowing the sought-after name seals are destined for export which is illegal, a new investigation reveals.
EIA Applauds IWC For Passing Resolution Addressing Underwater Noise Impacts to Protect Whales
09/12/2018
The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) commends the International Whaling Commission (IWC) for passing by consensus a new Resolution focused on addressing the impacts of anthropogenic underwater noise on cetaceans.

Recent Videos

The Canary in the Coal Mine: Cook Inlet Beluga Whales
09/15/2018
A short video about the Cook Inlet beluga whales and the problems they face.
Beluga Whales in Cook Inlet, Alaska
09/19/2017
A short video about the endangered population of beluga whales in the Cook Inlet
Tell Yahoo! Japan to Stop Ivory Sales!
Yahoo! Japan is the largest internet seller of ivory in the world. Lend your voice and tell Yahoo! Japan to cease all ivory sales to protect elephants!
Follow us @eiaenvironment on twitter for the latest updates!
SHARE THE LATEST: The Dirty Secrets of Japan’s Illegal Ivory Trade
Support Domestic Ivory Trade Bans!
Don’t Buy From Icelandic Whalers
Help EIA stop ivory trade to protect elephants!