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!

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

US REFUSES BRITISH MUSEUM’S IVORY ART

British Museum’s ivory icons denied US entry for loan show
by VICTORIA STAPLEY-BROWN, The Art Newspaper
1 July 2015

The US Fish and Wildlife Service blocked the importation of six Byzantine ivory pieces due to come to the US on a loan from the British Museum for the travelling exhibition Saints and Dragons: Icons from Byzantium to Russia. The show, currently on view at the Museum of Russian Icons in Clinton, Massachusetts and due to travel to the Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk, Virginia, this autumn, centres on icons that are normally hidden away in storage at the London museum.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.amaraelephantblog.com

GR:  Perhaps historically and artistically important ivory artifacts should be duplicated and then destroyed.

Oppose the Lawful Ivory Protection Act of 2014

Help Ban Ivory Sales throughout the U. S.

The Obama Administration’s announcement that it would ban ivory imports and sales in the U. S. was a big step on the way to protecting elephants.  Now, six months later, poachers have killed 15,000 more elephants, and the ban is still not in place,

Wildlife Conservation Society:  “Interest groups that value ivory sales over elephants’ lives have launched an all-out effort to weaken or eliminate any and all ivory bans. Right now there are bills in both the House and Senate that would not only kill a federal ban on ivory sales, but could effectively roll back any state efforts to ban ivory, including the recently enacted New Jersey State ivory ban.

“Each day we spend fighting these attacks means another 96 elephants are senselessly slaughtered. Tell your members of Congress to stand firm against any and all attacks on the federal ivory ban.”

U. S. Citizens go here to send the letter: