Worth More Alive29/04/2016
“What we have seen here today is the start of an African conservation revolution. We have always said that what is key to better protection of elephants and their landscapes, and to ending the illegal wildlife trade, is greater political will from Africa’s leaders. Today, we’ve seen the clearest possible demonstrations of that commitment. We also remain very aware of what is still needed in terms of financial support, to allow the Giants to achieve what they have set out to do.” – Dr Max Graham, CEO of Space for Giants and AS+A Speaker.
Outcomes of the Giants Club Summit (updated 3 May):
- Giants Club Summit secures multi-million-dollar funding to strengthen frontline elephant protection, boost illegal wildlife trade prosecutions, and spark innovations in conservation finance. Philanthropists and financiers offered more than $5 million in immediate funding, with pledges of more to come, to launch a series of new elephant protection interventions announced by African presidents heading the inaugural Giants Club Summit.
- Botswana, Kenya, Uganda, and Gabon each laid out visions for actions with proven impact, including new rapid reaction or special operations ranger units, support for strengthening prosecutions, electrified fences to keep elephants out of farmers’ fields, and conservation investment strategies. Between them, the four Giants Club countries together hold more than half of Africa’s remaining elephants, a population under protection that will be boosted after Ethiopia announced at the Summit that it would become the fifth Giants Club country.
- Evgeny Lebedev, patron of The Giants Club and owner of the British Evening Standard newspaper and independent.co.uk, will put together a new communications strategy worth $3 million to broadcast elephant protection programmes.
- Ruth Powys, CEO of Elephant Family, pledged an initial $500,000 in support, and Jorge Rios of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime announced $300,000 in new funding.
Today is the day we put our foot down, Kenya’s poaching crisis will not go on.
Some of our worst recent years have seen 100 elephants poached every day in Africa. That is one elephant every 15 minutes.
Tonight at the inaugural Giants Club Summit presidents, conservationists, and artists will join hands to protect Africa’s wildlife from any further destruction. In conjunction, Kenya will host the largest ivory burn in international history, sending a stockpile of confiscated and recovered ivory up in flames. With it will go the possibility of that ivory ever furthering this catastrophic trade.
Here at African Speakers and Artists, we’re proud to be one of the organizations leading the charge. An official sponsor of the event, we’re also honored to represent Kenya’s leading minds on conservation and its greatest artists lending a voice to this critical cause.
Two of our artists will be performing at the event, Kenyan Afro-pop sensation Sauti Sol and the country’s enormous musical talent Eric Wainaina.
Our own Dr. Max Graham is the brains and heart behind The Giants Club. He is the CEO of Space for Giants, a Kenyan organization developing innovative models of conservation to combat illegal poaching and human-wildlife conflict.
Another one of our speakers, Dr. Paula Kahumbu, is the CEO of Kenyan conservation non-profit WildlifeDirect and leads the hard-hitting Hands Off Our Elephants Campaign. She has been an outspoken advocate of ivory burning for most of her career and is the driving force behind this burn.
The economic value of elephants is enormous. Tourism generated almost $2.5 billion for Kenya in 2014 and over half a million people are employed by the industry. The majority of Kenya’s tourists are coming to see its greatest national treasure, our wildlife.
At African Speakers and Artists, we’re committed to representing the very best that Africa has to offer. We can’t think of better examples that the people who are safeguarding these great creatures for our children’s future– not just today but every day.
Because elephants aren’t just paramount to our economy, they’re part of our identity.
(Photo credit Gurveer Singh Sira)Read more Read less