Monday, December 2, 2013

“If we kill off the wild, then we are killing a part of our souls.”

“What we are doing to the forests of the world is but a mirror reflection of what we are doing to ourselves and to one another.”
― Mahatma Gandhi

      The US Department of State has declared December 4th, Wildlife Conservation Day and is calling out to individuals across the entire world to support threatened species by signing up for a Wildlife Pledge.  The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)  has embraced the initiative given the recent dramatic escalation in poaching of numerous animals. Illegal poaching is compromising decades-long efforts towards the conservation and sustainable use of wild species. Poaching and crimes against wildlife are deadly serious. In the past fifty years alone there has been a significant rise in the numbers of endangered animals including rhino's, tigers and elephants.  Notably, the Western Black African Rhino was declared extinct a few months ago.

     What can you do right now?

     Push for all governments to protect threatened animal populations.

     Call for increased law enforcement.
     Impose strict deterrents to reduce demand for endangered species products and make sure your  own country honors international commitments. Take action now by asking Congress to support legislation which will crack down on wildlife trafficking and enact a moratorium on ivory trade in the US.   More than 30,000 elephants were slaughtered last year for their tusks and many of those tusks will end up in the US, in the form of carvings and small trinkets or jewelry. You have the power to make a difference.     

     Please, speak up on behalf of those on the front lines being threatened by dangerous armed poachers and ensure those protecting wildlife are properly trained, equipped and compensated for putting their lives at risk.

   Ask questions. Reduce demand for illegal wildlife parts and products now. Encourage others to ask questions and get the facts before buying any wildlife or plant product.

      Included above is part two of Poaching Wars, the thought provoking, eye-opening documentary produced and narrated by British actor, activist Tom Hardy. Warning: The video does contain graphic and disturbing images. The issue of wildlife crime should never be sugar coated or dismissed as something happening" far away" or "over there". Illegal poaching and the destruction of our wildlife systems affects all of humanity. For just as Mahatma Gandhi poignantly stated over fifty years ago,

“What we are doing to the forests of the world is but a mirror reflection of what we are doing to ourselves and to one another.”  

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