Skip navigation

no spam, unsubscribe anytime.
Skip navigation
In less than two weeks, authorities in Kenya, Hong Kong, and Vietnam apprehended nearly seven tons of contraband ivory in four separate raids -- thousands of pieces destined for illegal markets where uninformed consumers trade elephants' lives for trinkets. We can't lose these majestic creatures to greed! Sign below to help end this deadly trade.
Goal: 100,000 Progress: 91,556
Sponsored by: The Rainforest Site

After facing decimation in the 1980s, a global ban on ivory sales barely saved Africa's elephants from extinction.

Then, in 2008 the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) agreed to unleash stockpiles of ivory in a "one-off" sale to China, and the decision kicked off a surge in demand for the coveted "white gold". Rather than reduce the need for black-market ivory and the poaching that supplies it, China's growing middle class wants more.

And they are willing to pay for it. Soaring prices encourage more poaching and attract the attention of armed rebel groups, corrupt government officials, and international criminal organizations. The profits, in turn, fund other illegal activities elsewhere in the world.

2011 and 2012 were especially lethal years for elephants, smashing previous records for illegal ivory seizures, typically captured en route to China. The trend shows no sign of slowing.

Petition the Chinese Ambassador to the United States to help reverse this bloody path towards extinction.

Sign Here

Dear Ambassador Tiankai:

As long as there is a market for ivory, there will continue to be a demand. Far from reducing demand, the 2008 sale of stockpiles in China has only whetted the world's appetite for additional ivory, driving up prices for this coveted "white gold". Rising prices, in turn, have corrupted government officials and attracted organized crime. And as the New York Times observed, the availability of legally sanctioned ivory has provided the "ideal legal camouflage" for smugglers to launder their illicit goods. And African elephants pay the ultimate price.

In just one example, a recent study published in the scientific journal PLoS One illustrates the consequences for Africa's elephants. According to the research, populations of forest elephants in Central Africa, highly valued for their hard ivory, declined an astonishing 62% over the past ten years, a pace that spells extinction within the next decade.

But the illegal ivory trade is not just a threat to elephants. The increasing scale and sophistication of the poachers and smugglers suggests the involvement of organized crime and militarized rebel organizations with networks spanning national boundaries. These groups threaten stability and peace well beyond the forests and savannas the elephants roam. The tremendous profit made from a shipment of illegal ivory then finances violence elsewhere, much in the same way blood diamonds funded human conflict in past decades.

It remains in China's best interest to see an end to this bloody trade. The 2011 ban on ivory in auction houses and the 2012 ban on online sales both represent positive steps towards this end. Continued seizures, arrests, and prosecutions demonstrate a dedication to cracking down on the illegal trade. Unfortunately, the legal trade is also part of the problem, deceiving consumers into believing their purchases are sanctioned by the state. And a growing middle class further burdens already taxed elephant populations.

As the mounting death toll illustrates, it is not enough to target smugglers and range states alone — destination markets must enforce stricter measures as well. Evidence suggests as much as 50% of the world's ivory is destined for Chinese markets, requiring about 220 tons of raw ivory, or roughly 20,000 elephants, each year.

The current state of affairs suggests three areas for improvement:

  1. Better education for consumers who don't fully comprehend the impact of their purchase. One survey suggests that seven out of ten Chinese consumers believe the ivory is harvested in a sustainable way. If they better understood the consequences for elephants — an early and brutal death — then they could make better purchasing decisions.
  2. Better coordination with range states, sharing law enforcement resources and intelligence to crack down on the criminal networks responsible.
  3. Better regulation culminating in a renewed ban on the sale of ivory in China.

The crisis facing Africa's elephants offers China an opportunity to lead the way, leveraging your growing influence in the world and establishing a model of international cooperation. Without Chinese cooperation and leadership on this matter, African elephants face a dire future, or worse, no future at all.

Petition Signatures

Jul 1, 2016 Colette DuCharme
Jul 1, 2016 Rev Lynn C Borgeson PLEASE put a stop to the continued slaughter of elephants to obtain ivory tusks. Your country has blood on its hands and are creating a tragedy that is totally unnecessary. Please don't make these majestic creatures extinct in out lifetime!
Jul 1, 2016 Linda Pflugrad
Jul 1, 2016 Retta Mitzenmacher Please allow these beautiful creatures to live in peace..
Jul 1, 2016 Susan Rano
Jul 1, 2016 Judith Gillespie
Jul 1, 2016 MaryAnn Hovey
Jul 1, 2016 Ellen Segal
Jul 1, 2016 Patrizia De Cicco
Jul 1, 2016 (Name not displayed)
Jul 1, 2016 Jean Bellino
Jul 1, 2016 (Name not displayed)
Jul 1, 2016 Joannep Paris
Jul 1, 2016 Selene Epeards Please stop killing our elephants for there ivory. They need it more then we do. So leave them alone. We don't need ivory trinkets to feel special. But they need there ivory, to be as beautiful as they are. Thank you.
Jul 1, 2016 Trish Attard
Jul 1, 2016 Jennifer Graham Please protect elephants from this awful practice.
Jul 1, 2016 margot reid
Jul 1, 2016 Roberta Brazelton Please help us save these majestic animals...
Jul 1, 2016 Rosemarie Bindon
Jul 1, 2016 (Name not displayed)
Jul 1, 2016 (Name not displayed)
Jul 1, 2016 (Name not displayed)
Jul 1, 2016 Holly Whitaker
Jul 1, 2016 Alma Martinez
Jul 1, 2016 Sylvie MALLEVAL
Jul 1, 2016 Carol Hankins
Jul 1, 2016 Christine Holzmueller It is time to stop such barbaric acts!
Jul 1, 2016 Josefina Tee Stop this illegal trade now and let's help preserve all our remaining wildlife.
Jul 1, 2016 Nicola Breen Patrick
Jul 1, 2016 steven pezzeca
Jul 1, 2016 Stephanie Williams
Jul 1, 2016 Randy Derham This is sick leave these elephants alone or one day there's not going to be anymore
Jul 1, 2016 (Name not displayed)
Jul 1, 2016 Simona Bergman
Jul 1, 2016 Martina Genter
Jul 1, 2016 Antonio Mengod
Jul 1, 2016 Carol Soares I love. Elephants
Jul 1, 2016 Christine Rochett
Jul 1, 2016 Christine Henri
Jul 1, 2016 Ingemar Oscarsson
Jul 1, 2016 Terry Janson PLEASE save these beautiful and majestic creatures!
Jul 1, 2016 Esther Rodriguez
Jul 1, 2016 Allycia Godbee
Jul 1, 2016 Alison Riley
Jul 1, 2016 (Name not displayed)
Jun 28, 2016 Nicolas Muzotte
Jun 27, 2016 Saddie Al
Jun 27, 2016 Kari Castillo
Jun 27, 2016 (Name not displayed) I love elephants and I can't take it if they were harm by anyone in this world
Jun 26, 2016 Tatiana Aguirre

back to top

Blooming Sun Long Sleeve Tunic
Share this page and help protect habitat: