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

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

Canada's New Marine Protected Area Envisions a Better Future for Narwhals and Belugas
09/28/2017
Read what Canada's largest marine protected area means for the local marine life, indigenous people, and industry.
On World Rhino Day, EIA Calls for an End to All Rhino Horn Trade
09/22/2017
To protect rhinos, domestic rhino horn markets must be shut down and pro-trade arguments must be abandoned.

Recent Reports

JAPAN’S ILLEGAL IVORY TRADE: Briefing Document for Delegates to CITES Standing Committee 69
11/27/2017
EIA's recommendations to the Standing Committee with regard to CITES Resolution Conf. 10.10 and Japan's ivory trade
EIA's 2016 Annual Report
11/22/2017
EIA's official 2016 Annual Report includes a complete financial report as well as the major accomplishments achieved by each of our three core campaigns.

Recent Press Releases

EIA Applauds Japan’s AEON for Elephant Ivory Phase-out
09/05/2017
The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) praised AEON’s official announcement that it will phase out all sales of elephant ivory by tenants in all of AEON’s numerous malls across Japan by March 2020.
EIA Condemns Japan’s Ivory Tusk Registration Campaign
08/29/2017
As the Government of Japan announces that it will launch a campaign to register privately-owned ivory, EIA condemns the move due to Japan's highly illegal trade.

Recent Videos

Beluga Whales in Cook Inlet, Alaska
09/19/2017
A short video about the endangered population of beluga whales in the Cook Inlet
New York Ivory Crush
08/04/2017
New York state destroyed nearly two tons of ivory in Central Park
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
Help EIA stop ivory trade to protect elephants!
Support Domestic Ivory Trade Bans!
Don’t Buy From Icelandic Whalers