Elephanatics BC, a Vancouver-based elephant advocacy organization, is hosting its 4th Annual Global Walk for Elephants and Rhinos on September 30. The walk is part of the Global March for Elephants and Rhinos – the world’s largest grassroots wildlife movement with more than 120 cities participating worldwide.
The goal of this initiative is to demand that all governments take action to stop the poaching of elephants and end the illegal trade in ivory.
Every day around 100 elephants in Africa are brutally killed for their tusks. That equates to one elephant every 15 minutes. Poaching has reached unprecedented levels, causing both conservationists and scientists to estimate the extinction of elephants in the wild within 10 – 20 years.
The Canadian government’s track record in protecting elephants is lackluster at best. At the 2016 IUCN World Conservation Congress, Canada was one of only four countries to vote against all countries closing their domestic ivory trade. At the 2016 Conference of the Parties to CITES, Canada voted against moving all African elephants to Appendix I to give them the highest level of protection.
In recent years, Canada has been the sole country to issue blanket reservations on all new CITES listings, and has failed to lift those reservations in a timely manner. These inexplicable positions put the Canadian government at odds with the growing international movement to save the African elephant from extinction.
Elephanatics BC has brought together a coalition of Canadian and international animal advocacy groups, to urge the government of Canada to fully protect African elephants. The organizations include BC SPCA, Canadian Federation of Humane Societies, Born Free, Zoocheck Canada, Animal Justice, WildlifeDirect and World Elephant Day Society. They have agreed to sign Elephanatic’s letter to the Canadian government and those attending the Global Walk for Elephants can sign a similar petition to be delivered with the letter.
The focus of the walk in Vancouver is to strongly urge the Canadian and provincial governments to:
- Make all import and domestic trade of elephant ivory illegal in Canada, as per Mike Farnworth’s (Solicitor General NDP) private member’s bill M 234 – Banning the Sale of Ivory and Rhinoceros Horns Act, 2016.
- Vote to move all elephants in all range countries to Appendix I, at all future opportunities.
- Update domestic legislation to facilitate timely compliance with Canada’s international obligations under CITES.
Sheryl Fink, IFAW’s Director of Wildlife Campaigns in Canada said, “It is extremely disappointing that Canada is not living up to our international obligations and it is setting a terrible example for other countries around the world. I would like to see the Liberal government live up to their commitment to provide greater protection for endangered species.”
4th Annual Global Walk for Elephants and Rhinos
Saturday, September 30 – 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm
Creekside Park (behind Science World)
The event includes: music; elephant face painting and henna tattoos; an elephant market including t-shirts, artwork and jewelry; selfies with a life-size elephant; learning how you can help elephants; and a walk around the False Creek seawall.
Elephanatics is a Vancouver, registered non-profit organization founded in May 2013. It is run exclusively by volunteers who aim to help the long-term survival of African and Asian elephants through conservation, education and action. Elephanatics first introduced the city to the Global March for Elephants and Rhinos (GMFER) in October 2014 and has hosted the annual free event ever since. This year, the event will not be a march, but a -walk.
The Global March for Elephants and Rhinos is a registered, non-profit organization in the United States. It is a global movement demanding an end to ivory and rhino horn trade. The first march took place in 2013.
For more information, please contact:
Director of Strategic Relationships & Advocacy
Twitter: @ElephanaticsBC and @EleRhinoMarch
Instagram: March4ElephantsBC and GMFER2017