Africa is one of the leading habitats for Elephants but they have been facing depopulation as they are hunted for Ivory. Many elephants have been killed illegally and their ivory smuggled to different countries in the world.
Following the “first ever” African Elephant Summit that included delegates from different countries including;Uganda,Kenya,Gabon,Niger and Zambia plus ivory transit states Viet Nam,Malaysia,China,Thailand and Philippines, it was agreed that special measures should be put in place to stop this vise otherwise the population of African elephants shall reduce. A stop to the illegal ivory value chain was the key topic as the members argued that killing of elephants will reduce the governments’ revenue from Tourists.
Many tourists come to Africa to look at these elegant-peaceful mammals and if they are left to be killed, a negative effect on Africa’s tourism is bound to occur.
H.E. Lieutenant General Seretse Khama Ian Khama (President of the Republic of Botswana) said that “this is the right opportunity that we have to tackle this growing illegal ivory trade and if ignored, future generation will put the blame on us”. His words were appreciated by all other members and they vowed to join efforts together to protect this universally much needed and valued species.
They stated 14 measures to fight this problem and one of them was classifying wildlife trafficking as a serious crime. This is believed to lead to a total stoppage on the rapidly growing wildlife killings for money.
Other measures that were agreed on include; strengthening national laws to secure maximum wildlife crime sentences, engaging communities living with the elephants in their conservation and mobilizing technical and financial resources to combat wildlife crime and stop illegal trade of ivory.
Loxodonta africana (African Elephant) is the world’s largest terrestrial mammal and according to the IUCN Red List, it’s one of the most threatened Species followed by the pangolins and rhinos.
In Uganda, elephants are protected though there are some stubborn poachers who keep on insisting with the practice. The elephants are protected in the National Parks and are well looked after. Tourists are able to see these elegant mammals on their game drives in the National Parks.