On Saturday, April 3o, 2016, Kenya, led by President Uhuru Kenyatta, will set fire to 105 tonnes of ivory. Tusks from over 6,000 illegally killed elephants will go up in flames in Nairobi national park to highlight the poaching crisis. Much of the ivory has been seized by the Kenyan state from poaching gangs. WildAid will be bring this historic event to a live audience on Twitter (#JoinTheHerd) over the weekend.
The move is aimed at raising awareness and garnering more global pressure to end illegal elephant poaching for the global ivory trade by reducing global demand. The global ivory trade kills an estimated 33,000 elephants every year.
This is Kenya’s fourth ivory burning event – its largest one ever. Other governments have held ivory burns in the past as well, but some critics are opposed to it’s destruction – advocating the use of profits from sale of seized ivory in conservation. Kenya is firm however in its argument – to destroy seized ivory to destroy the black market – and has urged its neighboring countries to follow suit. Thereby making a statement that elephants are #WorthMoreAlive.
At Ecophiles, we feel very strongly about the care and nurturing of these gentle giants. If you’d like to help out pledge to never buy ivory and read our guide to hanging out with elephants without hurting them.
The Ivory Burn coincides with the inaugural Giant’s Club Summit, a gathering of African heads of state, philanthropists and corporate leaders, founded by the Kenyan-based elephant conservation group Space for Giants. In the past three years, 100,000 elephants have been killed in Africa to supply ivory to illegal markets.
The initiative to stop poaching is critical, as the gentle giants are under threat of extinction.