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.
On Friday 4th October 2013 the world marched for elephants in cities across the globe in the first ever International March for Elephants. Created through the DSWT's iworry campaign, the International March for Elephants was a social movement, allowing people to show their support for elephants and to draw public and political attention to what was happening to elephants - one killed every 15 minutes for its tusks. The iworry marches inspired others and ultimately marches took place in 42 cities, with 20,000 people taking to the streets to peacefully protest and call on their Governments to take urgent action to save the elephant from extinction.
Cities included London, New York, Bangkok, Arusha and Cape Town amongst others. A number of celebrity guests and keynote speakers turned out to show their support for the species. Our Patron Kristin Davis addressed the crowds in NYC joined by award-winning author Bryan Christy, renowned wildlife conservationist Dr. Iain Douglas-Hamilton, Dr. Paula Kahumbu and model Christie Brinkley. We were also delighted to invite Born Free CEO Will Travers to our March in Washington DC to address the crowds and American actress Kristin Bauer van Straten to talk to those gathered in Los Angeles. Over 20,000 people took to the streets on Friday October 4th - sending a clear message calling for change and greater action to protect elephants.
Off the streets we also received thousands of iSupport photos and messages through The Digital March including from Kenya's First Lady Margaret Kenyatta.
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.
THE GLOBAL MARCH FOR ELEPHANTS AND RHINOS 2014
Following on from last year’s International March for Elephants which brought thousands of people to the streets for elephants and attracted the support of global NGOs a Global March for Elephant and Rhinos was created.
Elephants still need our help, but as a species they’re not alone. Inspired by last year’s March, over 130 locally organised Marches demanded protection for elephants as well as Rhinos and Lions in cities globally, including key capitals like Washington DC, Nairobi and London.
iworry stood shoulder to shoulder with this year’s marchers on World Animal Day, Saturday 4th October 2014 to call for a complete ban on ivory sales. Thank you to everyone who showed their support for the species again this year.
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.
"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
"I believe that animals enrich our lives and make us better people. Learning about the decline of the elephant population in Africa’s savannahs has been absolutely heartbreaking. The future of an already fragile African elephant population remains uncertain as illegal ivory trade continues to grow, with elephant poaching doubling and illegal ivory trade tripling in the last decade. I am a proud supporter of organizations that take action every day against animal cruelty and I believe we need to come together to support the DSWT iWorry campaign and take a stand for the future of elephants." - Tanya Kim
"I find it worrying to think that there won’t be any African elephants left in the next 11 years if we don’t do something. Please add your name to the DSWT petition and help protect Africa’s Elephants from the illegal ivory trade. Say NO to the ivory trade and stand up for elephants." - Shayne Ward