How This Tanzanian Musician Made Ivory a National Campaign Issue

GR: Individual activists are important spark plugs for nature conservation and wildlife protection. Here’s a great example.

Shubert Mwarabu promotes the grassroots campaign to save Tanzania’s elephants at a festival in Iringa, in the southern highlands. PHOTOGRAPH BY MOHAMED MVUMBAGU, FEMINA HIP

“Until Shubert Mwarabu saw a photograph of an elephant with its face hacked and bloodied, poaching was an abstraction. He didn’t know anything about ivory trafficking, or even what ivory was used for. That was in 2011, and the Tanzanian musician was 25.

“The photo had a powerful impact on him, and from then on, he says, he threw himself into the fight to save Tanzania’s elephants.Mwarabu, who previously had organized clubs in primary schools for advocating against child abuse, now started school conservation clubs. He composed songs about protecting elephants. His first, called “Let’s Talk About Poaching,” or “Tupige Vita Ujangili” in KiSwahili, was played on Tanzania’s national radio station.

“His efforts have been noticed in Tanzania and beyond. The California-based nonprofit Generation Awakening, which works to support young environmental activists, appointed him their first country ambassador.

“In October 2013, Mwarabu launched a one-man campaign, naming it Me Against Poaching, to show that change can come from a single person.

“Now he’s leading the first organized citizen campaign to lobby the Tanzanian government to halt the ivory trafficking that has made this East African country ground zero in the slaughter of Africa’s elephants. Okoa Tembo wa Tanzania, “Save Tanzania’s Elephants,” succeeded in making conservation an election issue in the hotly contested presidential race, Mwarabu says.” –Maraya Cornell (How This Tanzanian Musician Made Ivory a National Campaign Issue)

WATCH on the original post: A video aired in 2013 shows investigative journalist Aidan Hartley attempting to gain access to a maximum-security warehouse in Tanzania that holds perhaps the world’s largest cache of raw ivory. Maintaining this stockpile is expensive. Moreover it can’t legally be sold. So why not follow Kenya’s example and burn it!

2016: Another fatal year for elephants

GR:  With great sorrow, we watch as poachers eliminate elephants from the Earth.

HAMBURG, Germany, Dec. 22, 2016 — Elephants continued to be slaughtered for their ivory this year. More than 18 tons of illegal ivory, plus 949 elephant tusks and more than 3,000 pieces were reportedly seized in 2016, with at least 15 large seizures in excess of 500 kilograms. Most large shipments were intercepted in Vietnam, although huge amounts were also found in Malaysia, Uganda, Tanzania, Sudan, Spain, Austria and Germany.

“It is a sad fact that practically no day goes by without dozens of elephants being killed by poachers and every single week this year enforcers discovered illegal ivory somewhere in the world,” said Rikkert Reijnen, Director of the Wildlife Trade Program for International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW). “And this is just the tip of the iceberg as only a small fraction of the illegal ivory on the market is being intercepted.” –International Fund for Animals (Continue Reading:  2016: Another fatal year for elephants)

Petition · Remove Ivory from the traditional Wedding Anniversary gifts list before its TOO LATE

GR:  Wildlife is dying out as our farms, forestry, cities, and industries remove and poison habitats. Ivory lovers and the poachers who represent them favor a more direct approach to extinction.

“Thank you so much for taking the time to read this short and simple petition, which has a very achievable and easy goal, which I will come onto shortly.

“As you will already know, this petition centres around the conservation of our magnificent gentle giants with whom we share this planet. The noble and majestic Elephant. A beautiful and intelligent creature which may very possibly be extinct in our lifetimes. This means our children may never know a real live Elephant.

“This is not hundreds of years in the future, this is now.

“The insatiable demand for ivory is causing a dramatic decline in the number of African elephants. Poachers are hunting the animal faster than it can reproduce, with deaths affecting more than half of elephant families in the Samburu National Reserve in Kenya, a new study finds. In 2011, the worst African elephant poaching year on record since 1998, poachers killed an estimated 40,000 elephants, or about 8 percent of the elephant population in Africa. This is unsustainable.” Please sign:  Petition · Remove Ivory from the traditional Wedding Anniversary gifts list before its TOO LATE. · Change.org

Stop Wildlife Trafficking | ForceChange

GR:  Here’s a petition with a tight focus on a high-volume wildlife-crime center.

Target: Nguyễn Phú Trọng, General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam

Goal: Act to end the illegal trade in endangered species by shutting down the trade in Nhi Khe.

“Investigators with the Wildlife Justice Commission (WJC) have alleged that tens, if not hundreds, of millions of dollars in illegal wildlife is being trafficked through the Vietnamese village of Nhi Khe. Over the investigation, the WJC linked $53.1 million in illegal wildlife products to 51 traders based in the village of Nhi Khe. Over an 18-month investigation, these traders allegedly sold products made from an estimated 225 tigers, 579 rhinos, and 907 elephants. Deals were reportedly completed in person and through social media platforms such as Facebook and WeChat. If the tiger products allegedly sold in Nhi Khe over the investigations were exclusively wild tigers, this represents about six percent of the wild population.

“Vietnam is a hub for wildlife trafficking and the final stop for ivory before it enters Chinese markets. The WJC handed the results of its investigations to the Vietnamese government, however, the response has not been sufficient. Sign our petition and demand that the Vietnamese government act immediately and effectively to end wildlife trafficking in Nhi Khe.”

PETITION LETTER:  (Read and sign at:  Stop Wildlife Trafficking | ForceChange)