Target: Mr. Armando Emílio Guebuza, President of Mozambique
Goal: Demand that Mozambique crack down on the illegal ivory trade running rampant and unchecked within their borders
In 2013, 1,004 white rhinos were killed. This was an all-time high for poaching that is pushing the animals near threatened status. The demand for white rhinos is being driven by buyers in Asia and facilitated by lax laws in Mozambique. Tell the President of Mozambique that it is time to stop the flood of illegal ivory through his country’s borders and to save the white rhino from extinction.
The demand for the ivory horns of white rhinos and the ease of passing the horns through Mozambique have combined to create a surge in poaching activity over the last several years. If current trends continue, in just a few years more rhinos will be killed than born, signalling the end for this creature. Poachers, often part of large international criminal organizations, are using Mozambique as a base of operations both for access to South Africa for hunting and to smuggle the horns back out of the country. The horns are then sold to the wealthy in Vietnam and China.
Current laws in Mozambique only consider animal crimes a misdemeanor, and what few laws they have are loosely enforced. Removing this safe haven for poachers will go a long way towards saving the white rhino. Demand Mozambique crack down on the criminal poaching operations in their country.
Dear President Guebuza,
For too long, poachers have been able to operate out of Mozambique with little fear of interference or prosecution. The lax laws and weak enforcement have coupled with the demand for ivory in Asia to cause a surge of rhino poaching in South Africa. Last year, 1,004 white rhinos were killed for their horns. This represents a leap of one and a half times the poaching rate of the previous year, and is the highest number of rhinos killed in recorded history. The white rhino is now near threatened status and if this trend continues more rhinos will be killed each year than born, signalling the end of this amazing creature.
Mozambique plays a crucial role in stopping the illegal ivory trade by blocking access for poachers to South Africa and stopping them from smuggling the horns through your country so as to sell them in Asia. You must end the safe haven status Mozambique has with poachers, increase animal crimes from misdemeanors to felonies, raid and break up poaching operations, and crack down with the full weight of the government on these criminals. President Guebuza, it is time for Mozambique to do its part to save the white rhino from extinction.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: fwooper via flickr