Target: Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, President of Indonesia
Goal: Encourage stricter legislation and enforcement to prevent ivory imports into Indonesia.
NBC News recently showed footage of over two tons of ivory seized by police in Kenya. This was the largest amount of ivory ever seized at one time by Kenyan officials, and it represented the deaths of more than 300 elephants from Tanzania. The ivory was headed towards Indonesia, where a growing ivory black market has led more and more Africans to slaughter elephants in order to make lucrative profits in countries where the people typically live in poverty. In order to effectively prevent the abhorrent deaths of elephants, Indonesia needs to target the markets that are demanding the product, thus effectively stopping the need to kill elephants for profit.
Since the international ban on ivory in 1989, the sales of ivory have increased by more than 7% on the black market. Ineffective legislation and enforcement have created ample opportunities for profits to be made from the deaths of elephants and rhinoceros, both of which are endangered species and are protected by international law. However, particularly in Asian markets, demand for this “white gold” has increased, making it more and more profitable for impoverished Tanzanians and Kenyans to consider killing these animals for profit. Indonesia is one of the biggest importers of ivory, along with China, and the Savanna African elephant is who suffers.
Savanna African elephants are endangered in many African countries, where fewer than 1,000 animals can be found. Once numbering over three million, now an estimated 350,000 remain, most of which live in protected South Africa. Poachers have drastically affected this population and are responsible for the loss of 90% of African elephants. However, without demand for ivory in nations such as Indonesia, poaching for ivory would stop. Ask the president of Indonesia to expand efforts to prevent the import of ivory into his country.
Dear Mr. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono,
Recently, more than two tons of ivory from Tanzanian elephants was seized in Kenya as it was about to be shipped to Indonesia. More than 300 elephants died to obtain this ivory in order to meet the growing demand of the Indonesian ivory market. As you know, the export and import of ivory has been illegal since 1989, but demand continues to grow for this “white gold.” As long as Asian markets continue to demand ivory, innocent elephants will continue to be slaughtered.
An estimated 90% of the Savanna African Elephant population has been killed by poachers, mostly for ivory. In order to prevent the extinction of this animal, we need to ensure that ivory loses value by becoming less desirable. Efforts to prevent the sale of ivory have been largely unsuccessful on a global scale, and particularly in the Asian markets, including Indonesia and China. Ivory sales are up 7% since 1989, when the sale of ivory was banned, indicating that legislation and enforcement of ivory imports is ineffective.
Only with a global effort can we stop poaching and prevent the extinction of elephants. Please help us to stop the merciless killing of African elephants by creating stricter laws and enforcement of the import of ivory into Indonesia.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Elaine via Flickr