Target: Xi Jinping, President of China
Goal: Reward poor communities through economic means for protecting elephants.
Elephants will likely become extinct in the near future if the human communities around them are not provided with other economic ways to sustain survival. The highest number of poached elephants are found in areas where there is more poverty and infant deaths, making people desperate to earn money any way they can.
China is the country where most illegal trading of ivory takes place. Therefore, implementing programs in China which would help to strengthen local economies in exchange for those communities providing protection for elephants could prove to be helpful in ending the illegal trade of ivory. Currently, such programs are being implemented in Africa. For example, the African Wildlife Foundation helps to support a primary school in Zambia in exchange for the people living there designating areas for wildlife corridors, which are habitats where elephants can roam freely without being interrupted by humans or infrastructure.
In China, parents must pay for their children to attend high school. Most parents living in rural areas cannot afford to send their children to school past the age of fifteen. If a program were to be implemented in these communities where children were encouraged to make and sell crafts for the purpose of giving some of the money to a wildlife organization that protects elephants, both people and elephants would benefit from profits earned. In addition, providing scholarships to kids for participating in such a program would give these kids better educational opportunities.
If such programs were to be implemented in China, both people and animals would likely be better able to thrive. Sign this petition to encourage China to implement conservation-reward programs so that both communities and elephants may continue to survive. People helping people may be just what is needed to help strengthen elephant populations.
Dear President Jinping,
Although China has taken steps to end the ivory trade, such practices still exist in poverty-stricken communities where there are few other ways to survive. If these communities are not presented with other economic options, elephants will likely die off in the near future.
By creating and implementing conservation programs in poor areas in exchange for those communities taking extra precautions to protect elephants, both people and elephant’s lives will likely change for the better. In reference, organizations in Africa have successfully implemented such programs. For example, a school in Zambia is supported by a wildlife organization. In exchange, community members create and protect separate habitats for elephants.
China could implement a similar program where a portion of money that is earned from selling handmade crafts is donated to a wildlife organization that helps elephants. The kids participating in such a program could also be offered scholarships to either high schools or colleges for the work that they do to help conservation efforts.
If China were to implement similar programs to Africa, they would likely be beneficial to both community members who desperately need financial help as well as to the elephants that need protection. Creating and offering such programs to local communities would also show the world that China greatly cares about keeping elephants from becoming extinct.
For all of these reasons, I urge you to encourage the creation of community conservation-reward programs which would serve to help both elephants and people. Being willing to help people solve their economic struggles may be the answer to significantly raising elephant populations.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Dineshkannambadi via Wikimedia Commons