The Kasane meeting provides an opportunity to assess current conditions and the impact of the actions taken to date, to identify actions still needed, and to determine how to move forward productively. Representatives from key countries absent in London are in attendance, including South Africa, Thailand, and India.
The world is watching. We cannot stall; elephants have desperately needed our help for years. We must progress swiftly and decisively. For every day of inaction, nearly 100 more elephants are massacred.
If we do not act, these complex, gentle, intelligent animals will continue to see their families torn apart for trinkets, grieving each loss with heartfelt pain. The matriarchal herds of grandmothers, daughters, granddaughters, aunts, nieces, and cousins, all living together for decades, are quickly becoming a scene of the past.
At stake: the lives of hundreds of thousands of elephants, the future of their species, and - a risk too often overlooked - human safety.
Last year, Born Free USA revealed the shocking relationship between poachers and terrorists in two groundbreaking reports, "Ivory's Curse" and "Out of Africa." These reports explore, in painstaking detail, the path from elephant slaughter in the African bush, to ivory collection, to export, to criminal syndicates, to final sale in Asian marketplaces. Elephant poaching is inextricably linked to violent militias, organized crime, and government corruption in central Africa, with profits from the sale of ivory directly funding the deadly activities of such high-profile terrorist groups as Janjaweed, al-Shabaab, and the Lord's Resistance Army.