Sep 27 2013

 

 

 

 

 

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At The Clinton Global Initiative, Hillary Clinton, along with daughter Chelsea, took the lead in the battle against poaching of elephants. Pledging to raise $80 million in three years, she has claimed the issue as her own. The amount of money is eight times more than the entire Federal Government recently announced this year.

Most importantly she was able to have the leaders of six African nations join the effort.

Ken Thomas of the Associated Press reported:

The former secretary of state and her daughter, Chelsea, announced the three-year project at the Clinton Global Initiative, telling activists and supporters that the killing of elephants to support the sale of ivory around the globe had reached a crisis point.

"Unless the killing stops, African forest elephants are expected to be extinct within 10 years. I can't even grasp what a great disaster this is ecologically, but also for everyone who shares this planet," the former first lady said.

Clinton, a potential 2016 presidential candidate, said losing the elephant to extinction "seems like such a rebuke to our own values."

The Clinton initiative aims to prevent the killing and trafficking of elephants and rhinos. It also hopes to address the demand for ivory in Asia and the United States.

Several conservation groups have banded together to prevent the slaughter, including the Wildlife Conservation Society and the World Wildlife Fund. They noted that trafficking has a national security element because some of the illicit proceeds have helped terrorist organizations.

The leaders of six African countries – Uganda, Burkino Faso, Gabon, Malawi, Ivory Coast and Tanzania – joined the Clintons at the event, pledging their cooperation, along with officials representing other African nations.

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Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni said the nations would support a moratorium on imports, exports and sales of tusks and ivory until the elephant population is no longer threatened.

"It is time for the global community to act decisively against this plague," said Ali Bongo Ondimba, president of Gabon.

Clinton championed the protection of wildlife while at the State Department. Wildlife conservation groups have estimated that 35,000 elephants were killed illegally in Africa in 2012.