Garamba's Elephants in Trouble 

The elephants of Garamba in the northern reaches of the Democratic Republic of Congo are once again in the headlines. In 2012 press coverage of elephants being massacred from military helicopters propelled the poaching issue up the political agenda. Now the rebel militias - including the Lords Resistance Army - and out-of-control government forces are back in force, killing dozens of elephants in the last few weeks alone. African Parks need more fuel for their helicopter to keep it on patrol during this critical time, and the Elephant Crisis Fund has committed the funds to do so. 

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 Africa Begins Series of Ivory Burns  

Kenya and Ethiopia made their voices heard loud and clear as the first nations in a new wave of ivory stockpile destructions. First Kenya’s president torched a 15 tonne stockpile and committed to do the same to all the nation’s ivory before the year was out. Then Ethiopia burnt a 6 tonne stockpile and released their national Elephant Action Plan. This is significant progress for the Elephant Protection Initiative, and the Elephant Crisis Fund has committed to a $100k grant to support their plan. Tanzania, meanwhile, is currently conducting an inventory of their national ivory stockpile.

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The Elephant in the Classroom

Beyond the ivory crisis, the long-term future of Africa’s elephants will be in the hands of the people with who they share the landscape. STE’s Education program creates ambassadors for elephants through teaching local schoolchildren about how elephants live and helping them understand the importance of the species.

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China suspends imports on Ivory carvings

In a surprise move in late February, the Chinese State Forestry Administration announced that a temporary (1-year) ban on imports of carved ivory into the country. This technical measure will close a loophole in the law, but more than that is a significant first step on the road to banning the ivory trade in China. 

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Elephant Populations Continue to Decline

The illegal killing of elephants across Africa did not abate in 2014, according to continental figures released by CITES at an elephant summit in Kasane in Botswana. While parts of East Africa – such as Kenya’s Samburu/Laikipia - have improved, the situation continues to deteriorate in West and Central Africa. 

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Stand Up Shout Out for Conservancy Rangers

Community rangers are one of the keys to the recent reduction of poaching across northern Kenya. In recognition of their role, Kenyan charity Stand Up Shout Out raised funds to buy them the equipment they need in order to be most effective while out on extended patrol. STE was proud to assist and host the handover. 

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