A renewed and virulent wave of poaching is threatening Africa’s elephants by taking their lives to get to their tusks. Every year at least 33,000 elephants are illegally poached. This equates to one elephant every twenty minutes. A world without elephants would be a tragic failure of our humanity. The Elephant Crisis Fund addresses this crisis.
The trade is primarily driven by a burgeoning demand for ivory in China. Ivory has played a centuries-old role in Chinese culture, and is seen as an important medium in art and as a symbol of wealth. The rapidly growing middle class in China is fueling demand and escalating the price of ivory ever higher.
Sophisticated criminal elements – the same groups that smuggle arms, people and drugs – orchestrate the poaching and smuggling of ivory. On-the-ground anti-poaching efforts are outsmarted and outgunned. Borders are too porous and unenforced to stop the flow of ivory. The demand in China seems insatiable.
The Solution: A Coalition to Reduce Poaching, Trafficking and Demand
The ivory crisis is now too big for any one organization to solve. It requires a multifaceted response from a coalition of effective leaders, NGOs, institutions, scientists, media, and governments. Work must be done by the coalition on all aspects of the crisis. To save elephants, we must identify and fund effective partners that address the supply, trafficking and demand for ivory.
Anti-poaching efforts are crucial to stop the killing of elephants in Africa. At borders, ivory must be seized and to make life more difficult for those who profit from the trade. Demand for ivory products has to be stopped in China and elsewhere to lower the price of ivory and remove the incentive to kill elephants.
This approach requires a coalition of effective organizations that can rapidly implement projects on the ground to save elephants.
You can help save elephants by contributing to the Elephant Crisis Fund. The fund, a joint initiative between Save the Elephants and Wildlife Conservation Network, addresses the current poaching crisis by funding projects around the world that take action to stop poaching, trafficking, and demand for ivory. The ECF is in a unique position to identify and fund high-priority, innovative projects across the entire coalition. The fund has an initial target of $5 million over three years.
The ECF will jumpstart and grow action to save elephants by rapidly sending essential funds to innovative, effective field partners and responding quickly to changing needs on the ground. The ECF will not support overhead costs, meetings, or anything that does not directly contribute to the survival of elephants.
100% of your donations to the Elephant Crisis Fund will go directly to funding anti-poaching, anti-trafficking and demand reduction actions on the ground. The impact of your donations will be doubled with a dollar for dollar match up to $500,000 made possible by a generous WCN donor. Donations of $5,000 or more can be designated specifically to address either anti-poaching, anti-trafficking, or demand reduction programs.
Programs Supported by the Elephant Crisis Fund
The ECF was launched in 2013 and has already been able to make a difference. For instance it has helped boost anti poaching efforts in the Central African Republic where it supports the Wildlife Conservation Society's emergency response to stop the slaughter of elephants in Dzangha Sangha National Park. It has enabled crucial aerial surveillance over Tsavo National Park in Kenya.
On the demand reduction side, the ECF supports Save the Elephants and WildAid's China outreach campaign, as well as broader social media engagement and public service announcements with Li Bingbing and Yao Ming.