Here’s an idea from the Elephant Action League (EAL) on how to get rid of some ivory stocks in Africa.
Why not to put them in the “deal” every time those countries receive huge foreign aids or investments?
President Obama in South Africa just announced a $7 billion initiative over five years to double access to electrical power in sub-Saharan Africa. Great, we’re very happy about it since good conservation goes also through the welfare of the local communities.
But here’s the deal: we double your electrical power with our tax money but you give us the ivory stock, at NO VALUE, just to “sweet” the deal. Then we’ll destroy it.
Some African countries with sizable ivory stocks, like Tanzania, Mozambique, Zambia, Nigeria, Burundi and others, receive a LOT of U.S. and EU tax money every year.
The Obama Administration has requested $7.8 billion in bilateral foreign assistance for Africa in 2012.
The interests behind these aids and deals dwarf any ivory discussion, not to mention the direct investments of corporations and multinationals.
A few examples only regarding the aids from the U.S.? Tanzania is up for more than $571 million in the 2012 budget, Mozambique for $424 million, Zambia for over $400 million. And Burundi is seeking $1.1 billion in foreign aid for a new development plan to achieve by 2015. Burundi also has a large ivory stock.
In order to kill the ivory trade it’s time to be creative and think out of the box. And since poaching and the ivory trade are criminal activities with serious security and human rights implications, well, the minimun would be to link the ivory stocks to international aids and/or investments and destroy the “product” of years and years of criminal and terrorist operations.
So, politicians, consultants, opinion leaders, large NGOs, CEOs, please listen up to EAL’s suggestion and work to put the ivory stocks on the table during the next round of business talks.
At this link more info on the U.S. aid to Africa:
Photo credits: EPA/AlJazeera (President Obama in South Africa)