October 7th 2015: On 3rd and 4th October the world united for wildlife. In the largest show of support for a species, it was a truly heartwarming moment to witness crowds of passionate supporters take to the streets in support of wildlife struggling to survive under the threat of poaching and the demand for ivory.
From Nairobi to Vermont, Rome to London, people rallied together in solidarity for elephants and rhinos to raise vital awareness of the poaching crisis and importantly appeal for change from political leaders. In London, more than 800 people lined the city’s busiest streets including The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust’s (DSWT) UK Executive Director, Rob Brandford, International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), Action for Elephants UK and Born Free Foundation to hand over a letter at 10 Downing Street.
With support from BBC Radio 5 Live presenter and long-standing DSWT supporter, Nicky Campbell, the letter, which held over 100 signatures from prominent figures in the field of wildlife conservation, including Ricky Gervais and Joanna Lumley, was handed over addressed to David Cameron asking him to fulfill his 2010 election pledge. The letter was also signed by DSWT Founder, Dame Daphne Sheldrick DBE, who appealed to the UK “to join the global momentum…we respectfully appeal to you to honour your pledge and commit the UK to ending all domestic trade in ivory once and for all.”
Hundreds gathered to listen to Nicky Campbell deliver another of his heartfelt speeches; “There is a growing recognition in the corridors of power that something has to be done about this. We really need to put the foot on the accelerator. Time is running out.”
Since the first iworry International March for Elephants in 2013, we have witnessed encouraging and positive developments for elephants, including numerous ivory destructions, enhanced security at ports, U.S State bans on ivory sales and importantly the joint announcement from the U.S and China to work together to enact “nearly complete bans” in ivory sales.
Due to China’s incessant demand for ivory, this is the single largest step for the survival of a species and we hope will be a game changer for wildlife. However, this change needs to be swift, as every day elephants are being killed for their ivory and while we applaud the positive action that has taken place so far, we continue to urge world leaders to take decisive action today to stop the killing, stop the trade and stop the buying.
Please join us in taking action for elephants.