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By investigating and exposing ivory trade where it is found, EIA fights for stronger regulations to shut down all ivory trade, including at the domestic level, and increase protections for elephants.

Elephants in Crisis

EIA has been at the forefront of the global battle to halt the blood ivory trade for over 25 years. In 1989, EIA’s groundbreaking exposé revealed rampant elephant poaching and a booming global ivory trade, perpetrated by a network of criminals and corrupt officials in Africa and in importing nations. Our work provided key evidence that prompted the global community in 1989 to implement a ban on international trade in elephant ivory. Following the implementation of the ban, elephant populations in Africa began to recover from serious decline.

In 1999 and 2008, the 1989 ivory ban was seriously weakened by two legal international sales of ivory, one to Japan and a second to Japan and China. These market-stimulating sales, coupled with the changing economic and political situation in Asia, including the growth of China’s middle class, led us to the crisis that we face today. Learn more about our work to stop Japan's ivory trade here.

Africa’s elephants are once again in crisis due to the explosive demand for ivory as an investment commodity from consumers in China, as well as other countries including Japan, Thailand, and even the United States. African elephants are undeniably in the midst of another poaching crisis—tens of thousands of elephants are be slaughtered annually in a killing spree fueled by the global demand for ivory.

Our Approach

EIA strives to eliminate illegal ivory trade and increase enforcement to protect elephants, both domestically and in range and consuming countries. Using every tool at our disposal, EIA is committed to ending the elephant poaching epidemic.

EIA’s investigations trace and expose the illegal ivory trade—we track elephant poaching in Africa, monitor transit activity, and reveal the illegal markets and flawed legal systems that sustain black market trade in consumer countries. Using our investigative evidence, we campaign for positive change in legislation and policies to close loopholes that facilitate ivory laundering and to increase penalties for poachers and ivory traders.

We work independently, in strong coalitions with like-minded non-government organizations, and with government and private partners, to fight for precautionary policies in the international and domestic arenas.

EIA’s investigations into the illegal ivory trade have demonstrated repeatedly that any trade in ivory is incompatible with the conservation of elephants. We are firm in our resolve to combat all trade in elephant ivory: illegal and legal, international and domestic.

Combating the Ivory Trade

Internationally, we champion a full and complete ban on all international trade in ivory, with no exceptions. We campaign for elephant range states and ivory consumer nations like Japan to ban existing legal domestic ivory trade and crack down on poachers and organized criminals by enacting and enforcing tough laws and regulations. To complement this work, we pressure ivory product retailers, like Yahoo! Japan and Rakuten in Japan, to ban ivory product sales.

At home in the United States, we fully support the government’s exemplary efforts to combat wildlife trafficking, including working towards a nearly complete domestic ban on ivory trade and treating wildlife as a serious crime.

Elephants are the heart and soul of EIA’s wildlife campaign and protecting these majestic, iconic, and ecologically important species from the dangers of trade is at the top of EIA’s agenda.

Objectives

  • Ensure a secure long-term future for Africa’s wild elephant populations
  • Close down all ivory markets, domestic and international
  • End elephant poaching and trafficking of elephant products

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.
Mourning the Loss of Esmond Martin
02/05/2018
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

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 Praises Taiwan for Closing Its Domestic Ivory Market to Save Elephants
04/04/2018
The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) today commended Taiwan for committing to close its domestic ivory market starting January 1, 2020, thus eliminating another domestic ivory market in Asia.

Recent Videos

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!
SHARE THE LATEST: The Dirty Secrets of Japan’s Illegal Ivory Trade
Support Domestic Ivory Trade Bans!