Italy joins the fight against elephant poaching, ivory trafficking and transnational criminal organizations profiting from wildlife crime.
Rome, 3 March, 2016. To celebrate World Wildlife Day the American nonprofit Elephant Action League, together with the Italian Ministry of Environment and the Italian Forest Police, is proud to announce the first Italian Ivory Crush to be held on 31st March in Rome.
Elephant Action League (EAL), a non-profit organization with the mission to fight wildlife crime, together with the Italian Ministry of Environment and the Forest Police, positions Italy in the community of nations actively fighting against criminal networks, traffickers and terrorist groups profiting from the illegal trade of ivory and other wildlife products such as rhino horn and timber.
The first Italian Ivory Crush is scheduled for 31st March 2016 and will take place in the world-famous Circo Massimo in Rome, between the Coliseum and River Tevere. A few hundred kilograms of seized ivory, including tusks and objects, will be crushed by an industrial machine in front of the public and selected invitees.
Andrea Crosta, co-founder of EAL states that, “behind elephant poaching and ivory trafficking there is a huge human toll and corruption at all levels: from money laundering to weapons trafficking, and the exploitation of entire local communities. The illegal ivory trade also provides funds to dangerous criminal networks and terrorist organizations.”
With this ivory crush, EAL and the Italian Ministry of Environment intend to give a strong signal to the world: Italy will not tolerate ivory trafficking and is committed to protecting elephants from extinction and to support local communities in Africa to avoid exploitation by criminal networks.
The Italian event is part of a cycle of public destructions, which began in 1989 when the global ivory trade was banned. The next important event is scheduled for the end of April in Nairobi, where one of the most impressive and astounding ivory stockpile destructions ever seen will take place.
“We are very proud to have gained the support of the Italian Government for this initiative where a symbolic amount of seized ivory will be destroyed,” says Gilda Moratti, co-founder of EAL together with Andrea Crosta and Francesco Rocca. “The Italian Institutions presence testifies the strength of our commitment and the value of our project.”
“Every day at least one hundred elephants are slaughtered for their ivory and hundreds of people per year are killed or injured trying to poach or defend elephants,” declares Andrea Crosta, co-author together with Nir Kalron of Maisha Consulting, of the ground-breaking investigation in 2010-11 that identified the link between the illegal trafficking of ivory and the Somali terrorist group Al-Shabaab, which completely changed the narrative on elephant poaching and ivory trafficking (Africa’s White Gold of Jihad).
The ivory crush in Rome has been envisioned and organized by the Elephant Action League, in collaboration with the Italian Ministry of Environment and the Italian Forest Police.
Elephant Action League:
Elephant Action League (EAL) is an innovative hybrid non-profit organization that merges the worlds of intelligence, investigations and conservation in service of wildlife and the people who protect it. Its mission is to fight wildlife and forest crime through Concrete, Innovative and Collaborative projects.
Legally based in the United States, EAL was established in 2013 by three Italians, Andrea Crosta, Gilda Moratti and Francesco Rocca.
EAL’s recently published the report BLENDING IVORY, a 10-month undercover investigation in China on ivory and rhino horn trafficking. EAL is also the creator of WildLeaks, the world’s first whistleblowing initiative dedicated to wildlife and forest crime.
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