The iworry campaign calls on world governments to make the illicit ivory trade and wildlife crime a priority issue, to make a financial commitment to security enforcement and to impose a complete ban on all ivory sales.
As a field based organisation, the DSWT works on the front line to protect wildlife and prevent the suffering and killing of wild animals. Recognising the need for greater global awareness of the illegal wildlife trade in ivory, which is claiming the lives of 36,000 elephants annually, the DSWT launched iworry in 2012. The campaign is based on the premise that everyone has a stake in conserving elephants and that we must come together if we are to successfully educate and inform people as to the existence of the illegal ivory trade, the devastating toll it is having on elephant populations and through that, call on governments from around the world to take proactive steps to tackle this illicit trade and save elephants.
Sharing the evidence of poaching witnessed by DSWT teams in the field, iworry utilises social media, petitions, imagery, the press and public marches to create an awareness of the existence of the ivory trade and its impacts. The loss of elephants in the wild, an iconic, intelligent and social species, would not only make the world a lesser place, it would have serious environmental and economic repercussions.
'Dead or Alive? Valuing an Elephant'
A living elephant is worth a staggering 76 times more alive than dead for its tusks. The loss of Africa’s elephants threatens Africa’s economies - and travel companies offering a chance to see the species - and highlights the need for global action.
Read the ground breaking iworry report here.
FFollowing on from last year’s march and 2013’s inaugural International March for Elephants, which brought thousands of people to the streets for elephants and attracted the support of many Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) - this year we will again be standing shoulder to shoulder to raise awareness for elephants.
Who are you marching for?
Wherever you decide to march on Saturday 3rd or Sunday 4th October, ensure you are sharing a strong message by showing who you are marching for. Personal stories have impact and so many of the orphaned elephants in the care of the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust are the victims of ivory poaching, they deserve to have their stories told. So we have created a series of images in their honor and please feel free to download and print any of these, allowing you to take the orphans with you on the march.
Please see below for a selection of 15 'Who are you marching for?' placards featuring the orphaned elephants. We will continue to add to the selection over the coming weeks.
Where will you be marching?
Find your nearest march.
Each year, the world comes together to march for wildlife in cities across the globe. Created through the DSWT's iworry campaign, the International March for Elephants is a social movement, allowing people to show their support for elephants and to draw public and political attention to what is happening to Africa's threatened wildlife.
Off the streets we also urge people to share their iSupport photos and messages through The Digital March.
Watch as over 20,000 marched for elephants and called on their governments for stiffer penalties, financial investment into Anti-Poaching measures and tougher laws to save the species from extinction.
Created by The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, the iworry campaign calls for:
Celebrity supporters around the world are standing up for elephants. Please see below the celebrities currently supporting iworry.
"Elephants are the most majestic species out there. And I just love seeing them marching carefree through the African savanna. People should feel the responsibility to come together and help these creatures to prosper not suffer. Seeing a 3-month-old baby elephant injured by a snare is simply an embarrassment to the entire human society. I feel extremely grateful to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust for allowing me to spend some magical moments with their elephant orphans and grateful for all the monumental work they do every day to protect Africa’s elephants." - Veronica Varekova
"Elephant poaching is one of the most greedy, barbaric practices I’ve ever seen, and also the most traumatizing for these soulful creatures who mourn the passing of each and every family member they see slaughtered. If we don’t find a resolution to this crisis, within 10 years it will be too late. The time to act is now and we all must band together to create a successful outcome and save these majestic beauties." - Shannon Elizabeth
"Our hearts bleed in the knowledge that if we continue living as we are, elephants will no longer exist in the wild ten short years from today. These magnificent creatures experience the same emotional complexity as humans and their young suffer overwhelming and prolonged grief after witnessing a parent killed for ivory. The Ian Somerhalder Foundation attests that all life on this planet is interwoven and interconnected, therefore their suffering and grief is ultimately OUR suffering and grief. The IS Foundation stands alongside The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in support of their iworry campaign to stop the senseless killing of these majestic animals." - Ian Somerhalder
"There is no difference between an elephant and myself, other than the way we look. So every time I hear of an elephant being slaughtered for their tusks, I think of my son. And how it would feel for him if I was brutally and sadistically murdered in front of him. And how would I feel knowing my last breaths were taken watching fear and despair on his face? Would I yell at him to run? Would I beg for my life? Would I tell my murderers to take me somewhere else so he doesn’t have to watch me be senselessly killed? I would do all of that and more. I would fight, plead, beg, run, protect my son…and I would hope against hope that someone somewhere out there was fighting to make sure this didn’t happen to others like me. How can we think the elephants aren’t thinking and feeling all of these things and more? And knowing this, how can we allow this slaughter to continue to happen?" - Alisen Down
"Elephants are facing the very real threat of extinction in the wild to feed an obsession with ivory. If we want our children to live in a world where elephants still roam free then we have to act now. Elephants deserve a place in Africa's future and it is everyone’s responsibility to ensure their survival is supported." - Levison Wood
"Elephants have remarkable powers of cognition; they are able to learn, remember, and experience fear, pain and loss. I have been so fortunate to see them interacting in the wild; I want my children and my grandchildren to have the same opportunity. It is up to us to be their voice; to do whatever we can to stop the illegal ivory trade, and to save this extraordinary species." - Jodi Picoult
"Support this campaign and you save the elephant from cruel acts of humanity and consequently, early extinction. What more is there to think about?" - Katy Ashworth
"We can either become known as the generation who allowed the majestic elephants to vanish from our midst, or as the ones who said, "Not on our watch!" And stood up to fight for this intelligent, sensitive and beautiful species whose well-being is synonymous with our own, on so many levels. Terrorist organizations whose mission is to destroy us, mercilessly mutilate the elephants to sell the tusks to buy weapons. Without the elephant, the tourist trade would vanish, poverty would reach new lows and people desperate to feed their hungry babies could be lured into poaching for terrorist groups. Lets stop this vicious cycle by supporting The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, an amazing organization that understands all the complexities of this issue, covers all the bases and does it all with passion and boundless LOVE." - Christie Brinkley
"Stop killing elephants. Save these magnificent creatures now." - Kathryn Bigelow
"To think that elephants may be extinct in the wild due to the illegal ivory trade is beyond heartbreaking. Such a magnificent animal carved up to make trinkets and medicine proven to have no benefits at all is an absolute travesty. We can give elephants a voice by standing together and signing the iworry petition. Say NO to the ivory trade, and help save one of the planets most magnificent species." - Tina Arena
"Elephants are powerful yet gentle, sophisticated and intelligent, so loved by so many and yet still needlessly destroyed . To imagine a day without these creatures roaming free on earth is to admit defeat in our attempts to preserve our planets beauty. It simply cannot and must not happen . Please join us to ensure theirs and our future." - Chris Packham
"Poaching is devastating the species who have human-like emotions, they’re warm and playful and they are in desperate need for our help. Please take action and sign the iworry petition today." - Maria Menounos
"Many of the elephants at the DSWT’s Nursery in Nairobi have been orphaned by poachers having witnessed the killing of their mother for her ivory. Thanks to the Nursery they have a second chance. They are a living reminder of the terrible toll poaching is taking on elephants, with an elephant killed every 15 minutes for its ivory. We have a responsibility to protect these magnificent creatures and must stand together to fight for their survival." - Yao Ming
"Let's work together to save Africa's elephants." - First Lady Margaret Kenyatta
"Since its inception, the DSWT has led the way in caring for orphaned elephants and rhinos. But now that Kenya's wildlife and habitats are so seriously threatened from so many sides, the Trust has evolved into a multi-dimensional conservation body ready to tackle bigger and bigger challenges. Its long-term goal is to secure safe havens for wildlife, through the effective management and protection of key ecosystems and wilderness areas in Kenya, and I urge you to help in any way you can." - Mark Carwardine