Thanks to the efforts of many, the reduction in the ivory crisis over the last five years has been a significant, but still fragile, success. Ten years ago, it would have been difficult to imagine the world as it is today— one in which most of the major ivory trafficking networks have been so severely disrupted that traffickers are unwilling to take the risk of dealing in ivory, and where Chinese law enforcement agencies are carrying out their own sophisticated investigations into trafficking networks and diligently following up on leads provided to them by international NGOs. These changes are tremendously positive for elephants.
Five years ago, ivory poaching was the biggest threat to elephant populations in almost every African country; now we believe it is not the biggest threat in any country. Unfortunately, this is not just a result of the reduction in poaching, but also an indication of the increase in habitat loss and human-elephant conflict. Nonetheless, we are on an upwards path towards stamping out poaching across the continent as people unite to stop poaching, trafficking, and the demand for ivory.
In 2022, major successes were recorded in the fight against the illegal ivory trade, many funded by the ECF and resulting in the downfall of key wildlife traffickers. Read more in our 2022 End Year Report.