African Elephant Action Plan – Will Travers asks for support

3.12.13.  Updated 13.12.13

Africa’s elephants are facing probably the most serious crisis for nearly 30 years.

I thought it was bad when we reported up to 30,000 a year being killed for their ivory.

However, it seems to be even worse. Our latest calculations indicate that as many as 80,000 elephants have perished since January 2012 (see

Born Free is doing what it can! We have provided funding to L’Equipe des Elephants in Burkina Faso (the last stronghold for elephants in West Africa). We have agreed emergency funding to the Babile Elephant Sanctuary (a massive 6,900 square kilometres of land to the east of Ethiopia).

But we can only do so much – even with the fantastic generosity of our supporters round the world.

We need Governments to step up and, in some respects, they have started to do so.

The Government of Gabon has destroyed its ivory stockpile and has announced a zero-tolerance approach to poaching. Kenya Wildlife Service rangers put their lives on the line daily to protect the herds.  The Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Authority is putting in new measures to tackle the situation. The US Government has announced $10 million for elephants under an Executive Order from the President. The Clinton Global Initiative, together with a number of African Presidents, has called for a moratorium on all domestic ivory sales….

Now it is the UK’s turn – so read on and find out how you can help ensure the UK’s Government takes action!

On the 13th February, the Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary will host a High Level Meeting on Illegal Wildlife Trade. It will be our chance, as a nation, to step up and be counted.

And my request to our elected leaders is simple: Give Africa the means to do the job, to defeat poaching and disrupt and destroy the bloody ivory trade.

Make no mistake about it: Africa is up to the task. All 38 African Elephant range States – the countries that still have wild elephants – have agreed to The African Elephant Action Plan. It’s a blue print for elephant conservation, environmental protection and wildlife law enforcement. We have never seen such unity of purpose nor such a high degree of commitment.

In my 25 years working on ivory trade issues this, for me, is the best and only plan that could take back the initiative from the poachers and organised crime; that could halt the decimation of a species; that could bring security to some of the world’s most remote and fragile communities; and that could bring the hope to the killing fields.

But it won’t happen without a major commitment – and that is what the UK can deliver!

Over the next decade, the UK has decided that it will spend more than £100,000,000,000 (yes, one hundred billion pounds) on Overseas Development and I applaud that 100%.

However, right now we need to commit just a tiny fraction of that to elephants, to habitats and to rural security so that, in partnership with African nations, we can end the scourge of poaching and bring hope where there is despair.

As I say, Born Free will always do what it can but we need much more.

UK Supporters

The Government needs to know that you and your MP support this agenda and that is why I am asking you to write a letter, today, to your MP, asking him or her to support EDM 773 (that is Early Day Motion 773). You can read the text of the EDM here.

If you would like to know how you can contact your MP, you can find out here

Some MPs are not eligible to sign EDMs – Ministers and those on the respective Front Benches, for example. But even so they can express their support for the intention of the EDM and use their positions of influence to ensure that the Prime Minister is crystal clear on the matter.

Some MPs may tell you that they are reluctant to sign EDMs, considering them a waste of Parliamentary time. Well, in truth sometimes they are  – but it depends on the matter being raised. This is a matter of life and death, rangers, citizens, yes, even poachers – not to mention tens of thousands of elephants – are losing their lives. Under the circumstances, is an MP’s signature too much to ask for?

I cannot imagine that there is a single MP who does not agree with the proposition contained in the EDM – I would be shocked if that were the case.

Non-UK Supporters:

Please write to the UK Minister responsible for wildlife trade issues, Lord De Mauley. Ask him to use the opportunity of the High Level Meeting on 13th February on Illegal Wildlife Trade to commit a small portion of the funds set aside for Overseas Development, to the African Elephant Action Plan. Not only does the AEAP present the best chance yet of saving Africa’s elephants but the knock-on benefits to the tourist industry and local communities will also benefit overseas development.

Write to:

Lord De Mauley
Minister for Wildlife Trade
House of Commons

Start your letter ‘Dear Minister’ and sign off ‘Yours sincerely’

So my request is very simple: Contact your MP  and ask them to sign EDM 773 or write to the Minister responsible for trade issues. By so doing ensure that the Government feels empowered and emboldened to make a mighty commitment in a few months’ time to helping  Africa rise to the challenge. Let’s make the forests, plains and savannahs safe once more for elephants and, indeed, for all life. Let’s end the poaching crisis and the bloody ivory trade once and for all.

Please don’t delay, don’t put this off until later. Please do this for me now.

Together, we can make a difference!

Blogging off


24 Responses to “African Elephant Action Plan – Will Travers asks for support”

  1. Donna Mackenzie Says:

    I have already contacted mine, twice actually (the first time 2 weeks ago) but no response and he still hasn’t signed it, grrr. He is Eric Joyce so if any other BF supporters from Falkirk read this please get in touch with him and remind him how important this is. If enough of us keep asking hopefully we’ll get a result.

  2. Catherine Clarke Says:

    I have written to my MP. Not sure that he can sign “Early Day Motion” though. There was a big article on the subject in The Independent of yesterday.

  3. Karin Martinsson Says:

    Please for the sake of us all and future generations.

  4. Trasna Palmer Says:

    My MP is Anne Milton and I urge her to sign the EDM before this terrible slaughter wipes out the elephant population. Such a wonderful beast needs to be preserved. The suffering is beyond comprehension.

  5. Clara spano Says:

    Please help !!


    I contacted my MP as soon as I received this email. I have a life long passion for these majestic animals, and everything possible must be done to prevent their butchery and extinction.
    There is a lot of extra information and photos available on ‘The Elephant Page’ which is a Google community similar to a facebook page.

    I would love to get more involved, in a practical manor, I already donate regularly and have adopted 2 orphan elephants, but would like to be more involved in campaigning, etc, please let me know of anything more I can become involved with.

    Thank You

  7. Kathryn Rudd Says:

    Come on…..a World without Elephants?………sort your sh#t out!

  8. Gloria Picchetti Says:

    How are you going to feel when all the elephants in the world are gone because no one cared enough to stop poaching?

  9. Wendy Morse Says:

    I’m pleased to see my local MP,has already signed

  10. Peter Dolman Says:

    Have written to our MP Claire Perry today. Fingers crossed…

  11. chris gordon Says:

    I can see several well known Tories that haven’t signed this..Bone Grieve my own that uncle tom Gyimah Javed but there’s no link to mail them

  12. Martin Clarke Says:

    I have completed my letter to Richard Bacon our MP for South Norfolk to support the edm. Lets keep the pressure on.

  13. Trevor Pocknell Says:

    Have just emailed my MP Andy Sawford (Corby) about EDM 773.
    Regards, Trevor

  14. e cordingley Says:

    Just sent my message to Nick Gibb to support this cause. We all have to do what we can….

  15. stephen ,a,anderson. snr. Says:

    my m.p. is david heyes,and sadly david is poorly at the moment,his wife linda,his trying to deal with some of his constituency stuff,but i know david,will sign,like me he is an avid wildlife,campaigner,,yours ,stephen.a.anderson, snr, anti–political-and-press,corruption-campaigner,,

  16. Nicky Weitendorf Says:

    will any MP honestly do anything about the wildlife?

  17. Ann Lewis Says:

    I shall certainly try to contact my MP. ANYTHING and EVERYTHING must be done to stop elephant poaching.
    However, tackling the DEMAND for IVORY is the most useful and important thing now. This has to be done at Government level with determined and strong lobbying in the Far East.
    No amount of money sent to Africa can halt the criminal gangs with automatic weapons.
    Never mind TRADE – let’s help the elephants with INTERNATIONAL GOVERNMENT PRESSURE.

  18. Claire Sandell Says:

    I will be writing to my MP today to ask him to support the EDM.I cannot imagine a world where elephants are no longer present – what a legacy to leave future generations…

  19. Stephen Terrell Says:

    I am disgusted that we have just done huge trade deal iwth China,the Country that is wiping out the Elephant,Rhino,Tiger and Shark and nothing said.It shows money talks,and is the route of all evil,and the Conservatives have lost my vote unless they do something about the slaughter.

  20. Marian Drage Says:

    The answer seems to be to have drones to monitor the situation in Africa and track the poachers? The rangers on the ground seem to be losing the battle despite their best efforts.

    Drones seem to be becoming available for many industries now – is this something that is being raised and pushed with authorities?

    Unfortunately I cannot contact an MP as I am not in the UK.

  21. Stephen Taylor Says:

    EDM 773 is just TOO vital to ignore. Elephants are one of the most majestic of all natures creatures(to say nothing of being among the most intelligent). Just the mere thought of them being mercilessly slaughtered for their ivory is nothing short of abhorrent.It would be tragic if future generations only knew of them through picture – books and films.

  22. Dee Jenkins Says:

    This is horrendous.Sickens me to the pits of my stomach. How do we educate humans to stop wanting ivory. I will be writing to my MP. This world without these beautiful elephants..I would rather it be without humans.All animals would be safe then…

  23. Joanna Smallridge Says:

    I have written to my MP and asked him to support the EDM. This has to be stopped – it’s just horrendous. I will ask friends to write too.

  24. Tracy Martel Says:

    It really breaks my heart to know that elephants are being murdered for the sake of Chinese and Thai demand for ivory, and for the rotten aspirations of Joseph Kony et al. I will contribute this Thursday, next payday at the company I work for. I believe in making my pocketbook HURT for a good cause. And I believe that when one contributes money, one is contributing a part of themselves to the cause, one’s spiritual energy. So you can look forward to my contribution in a couple of days. I am a U.S citizen, so I do not know what an “MP” is. Can you let me know what that is, and then I can consider contacting somebody here in the U.S. ?