I have been working with UK Charity Stop Ivory on a long-term project to prevent the African Elephant from being hunted to extinction. As part of the project, I was given access to Kenya’s Ivory Stockpile, held at Kenyan Wildlife Services in Nairobi, which was burned in a historic ceremony, led by President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya together with President Ali Bongo Ondimba of Gabon, in Nairobi on the 30th April 2016.
The stockpile, 105 tonnes of confiscated and collected Ivory, was the remains of over 6,700 dead Elephants. In total, poaching has seen African Elephant numbers plummet from 1.2 million animals in 1989 to just 400,000 today; an elephant is killed every 15 minutes – at this rate, all remaining Elephants in Africa will be killed by 2026.
The work created will be exhibited at the 17th Conference of the Parties to CITES, in Johannesburg in September of this year – to highlight that on every possible metric, Elephants out-value Ivory, and all that it stands for; to support the proposal to close all Ivory markets, forever; and to secure funding to implement the African Elephant Action Plan for a meaningful future for Elephants and communities across Africa.