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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

Postcard from London: Charting a Cleaner Course for the Arctic
04/22/2016
Earth Day is a chance to celebrate the wonder of the natural world, which on the surface makes it a little ironic that EIA’s Wildlife Team is sending this blog postcard from the back of a London conference room with no...
#InOurHands: Stopping the Ivory Trade to Save Elephants
03/03/2016
Today is World Wildlife Day, a time to celebrate as well as critically evaluate how well we are addressing the most pressing threats to wildlife, in particular wildlife trafficking. EIA has been working to put an end to the illegal...

Recent Reports

Heavy Fuel Oil: A Priority Threat to Arctic Cetaceans
10/24/2016
An EIA briefing on the threat of heavy fuel oil in the Arctic...
The Dirty Secrets of Japan’s Illegal Ivory Trade
09/28/2016
EIA's report, The Dirty Secrets of Japan's Illegal Ivory Trade, reveal a 20-year history of broken commitments by Japan to enact effective controls to prevent poached tusks from being sold domestically or for illegal export.

Recent Press Releases

MEPC 70: IMO Moves Towards Arctic Phase Out of World’s Dirtiest Fuel
10/28/2016
EIA welcomed the progress made by member countries towards a phase out of the use of heavy fuel oil (HFO) by vessels operating in the Arctic.
EIA Commends Romania for Protecting Europe’s Remaining Large Carnivores
10/05/2016
Yesterday, Romania’s Minister of Environment, Water, and Forests (MMAP) Cristiana Pașca Palmer announced a decision to ban trophy hunting of brown bears, grey wolves, lynx, and wild cats...

Recent Videos

The Dirty Secrets of Japan’s Illegal Ivory Trade
09/27/2016
New evidence reveals a twenty year history of broken commitments by Japan to enact effective controls to prevent poached tusks from being sold domestically or for illegal export.
The U.S. Ivory Crush at Times Square
06/24/2015
The U.S. Ivory Crush at Times Square...
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!
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