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.