Target: Boris Johnson, Foreign Secretary of the UK
Goal: Follow through on leading the fight to shut down the ivory trade in the European Union.
Harriet Baldwin of the United Kingdom has promised that the UK will be leaders among European nations to end the ivory trade. She said that the UK would lead by example and described the issue as a “personal priority” for Boris Johnson, the foreign secretary. While speaking in Botswana at a conservation summit, Baldwin said: “The UK will lead by example. We will be shutting down our ivory trade. We will be working with the EU to do the same. That is something we can do irrespective of whether we are in the European Union or not.”
Between 2010-2015, the UK was the world’s leading legal ivory exporter. In October of 2017, the UK made good on public outcry to ban ivory, although there are still some significant exemptions. Now, the UK and France are joining together to call on the EU to ban the internal trade of raw, or newly carved, ivory. Currently, there are laws that ban the export of ivory, but that does not stop the production of it within countries. Many African nations want to see EU states go further in their policies to protect against the ivory trade.
This month, the presidents of Botswana, Uganda, and Gabon spearheaded a call for the EU to shut down domestic ivory markets, working toward a global ban and an end of the ivory trade. Tshekedi Khama, Botswana’s environmental minister, said: “If the EU gives us money to train rangers but still allows the exit of the trophies to the EU, that to me is a hypocrisy. Let’s stop the flowery approach that says: ‘I’ve ticked a box and I look good. I’ve given so much, but I’m still allowing you African range states to be challenged by poachers because I haven’t closed the European gates.” Essentially Khama’s argument states that if there is a market for ivory, poaching will continue regardless of measures taken to prevent it. The issue must be addressed at the source.
Sign this petition to urge Boris Johnson, foreign secretary of the UK, to make good on his promises to end the ivory trade in the UK and lead by example in the EU by working to remove exemptions on ivory trade and totally ban the trade of trophies in the UK.
Dear Secretary Johnson,
Harriet Baldwin has said that ending the ivory trade in the UK is a personal priority of yours. Right now, dominant legislation in the EU prevents ivory products from being exported, subsequently preventing an international market for trophies. However, domestic markets still exist. In order for poaching to end, laws must be passed to stop all markets, both international and domestic.
I urge you to push for legislation that will ban ivory trade, without exemption, in the UK. This will set an example for the rest of the European Union and help prevent the unnecessary and cruel killing of elephants.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Tony Knight