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

As Secretary Jewell Visits Vietnam and China, EIA Urges Action for Rhinos and Elephants

By Danielle Grabiel, EIA Senior Policy Analyst and Amy Zets, EIA Endangered Species Policy Analyst

This week, U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Sally Jewell travels to China and Vietnam, the world’s leading consumer markets for elephant ivory and rhino horn. Wildlife trafficking is high on the Secretary’s trip agenda, and indeed the U.S. agenda in general. On June 19th, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service crushed a ton of seized illegal ivory in New York’s Times Square, and last week top officials from the United States and China focused on combating wildlife trafficking at the annual Strategic & Economic Dialogue. Given the crisis at hand and the very real threat of losing some of the world’s most precious wildlife species, the high-level attention is justified and very much needed.

Vietnam and China are both important destinations for poached rhino horn. More than 1,400 rhinos were poached in South Africa in 2014, and while South Africa’s Department of Environmental Affairs has stopped regularly releasing updated numbers this year, official comments indicate that the scale in 2015 is higher, by at least 18 percent in the first four months of the year.

Elephants are killed by the tens of thousands annually, all to make high-priced, status-symbol trinkets, predominantly for Chinese consumers. A Mozambique government and Wildlife Conservation Society survey recently revealed that in the past five years, 48 percent of Mozambique’s elephants have been poached, leaving the total population at around 10,000, down from 20,000. In the same week, the Government of Tanzania announced that more than 60 percent of its elephants have been wiped out in the same timeframe—merely 43,300 remain from 2009’s population of 109,000. Between 2002 and 2013, 65 percent of Central Africa’s forest elephants were poached. A new published study identified that in recent years, most seized African elephant ivory has come from two hotspots—Central and East Africa—paralleling these population drops.

One year ago this week, the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) and the International Rhino Foundation (IRF) submitted a petition under the U.S. Pelly Amendment to certify Mozambique as undermining the effectiveness of an international conservation agreement, the UN Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild fauna and Flora (CITES), for its role in rhino and elephant poaching. Unfortunately, little has changed in the past year and, if anything, the situation has further deteriorated. (EIA and partners also submitted a petition to the U.S. government in December 2012, requesting sanctions against Vietnam for its role in the illegal rhino horn trade). We understand both petitions are under active review.

While meeting with government officials to discuss efforts to crack down on wildlife trafficking and cooperate, EIA encourages Secretary Jewell to focus on meaningful actions to reduce demand, eliminate legal markets which are used to launder illegal wildlife products, and increase enforcement efforts. We also urge the Secretary to consider our petitions and what the United States can do to help bring desperately needed relief to Africa’s remaining rhinos and elephants.

View all Blog Posts

Recent Blog Posts

EIA Condemns Establishment of Rhino Horn Trade Desk
EIA condemns the establishment of Rhino Horn Trade Africa (RHTA), an initiative launched yesterday by the South Africa-based Private Rhino Owners Association (PROA).
Mourning the Loss of Esmond Martin
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.

Recent Reports

JAPAN’S ILLEGAL IVORY TRADE: Briefing Document for Delegates to CITES Standing Committee 69
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
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
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
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
A short video about the endangered population of beluga whales in the Cook Inlet
New York Ivory Crush
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