GLOBAL MARCH FOR ELEPHANTS AND RHINOS
It’s an unusual position to be in and while there is still lots to be done and achieved, we cannot afford to be patting ourselves on the back for the good work achieved so far. So much has been won, but the critical stuff is still to be done. We have to keep pressing our noses to the grindstone in seeking some form of justice for animals that have been so greatly abused, mistreated and have been slaughtered in huge numbers to satisfy man’s wonton needs and desires.
Let’s recap, for years animal rights group like Animals Asia etc have been belting their heads against the wall. They have been trying to bring about change and making people aware of the tragic situations that go on about us throughout the world. The deaths and misery that have been inflicted on the animal kingdom to bring people their luxury goods and other highly prized but ethically questionable products, ie. furs, aphrodisiacs, medicines, exotic foods, art objects etc, have caused a critical imbalance in the animal world ethically, figuratively, and in actuality.
Tiger numbers have just increased this year for the first time in about 7 decades thanks to active campaigning and breeding programmes. And in the great Oceans of the world and in the isolated Galagpagos Islands where sailors introduced goats as a source of food in the 18th and early 19th Centuries, and where much of the indigenous animal population was facing extinction due to these pests, there has been marked changes brought about. The feral goats have been eradicated and the turtle population has been reestablished. The turtle populations along with other animals in danger have successfully been reintroduced.
The same has happened with the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans’ dwindling populations of turtles where they suffered a huge decline over the past couple of decades due to trawling, have been resurrected to more hopeful levels. The preservation of the species has been brought about after extensive studies of fishing patterns in these oceans to solve matters with the use of new types of fishing nets and new trawling techniques. Some simple answers to the destructive ways of the past methods of trawling, as it turned out.
On other fronts we have seen a huge change in attitude towards animal slaughter with the shark-fin trade, factory farming operations in the egg and chicken trade, pork and beef production and other associate areas. Even such dubious pursuits as cock-fight, dog-fighting and the traditional Spanish past-time of bull fighting have come under the spotlight of critical ethical morality and found to be grossly at odds with the times.
Behind all of this though, the slaughter of elephants for their ivory has continued beneath the radar at a rapacious level for far too many decades now. And up until recently it seems only half-hearted efforts have been made to bring the issue of the dwindling number of elephants that have been sacrificed for the sake of cutlery handles and piano keys, to world attention.
However the Global Movement for Elephants and Rhinos movement has changed all that and it’s done so with a metaphorical bullet. Wham, bam, thank you mam, this is a movement with muscle, gall and a clear-sighted objective of getting all powerful players conceivable onto their locomotive so that direct action is set in place. Their flexible structure too has allowed them to link up with similarly dedicated interest groups and other players in the field to consolidate their position, bargaining power, and appeal.
Let’s face it, creating a positive message from pics of elephants with hacked off faces caused by the mad attempts and rush poachers use to quickly retrieve the tusks from a freshly-dying male bull elephant, is not the most appealing elements in their arsenal to get their message out there. Carnage of this proportion is carried out by stealth to avoid detection by wardens patrolling parks to stop this trade.
And have no doubts about it, it is a deadly trade. With so much money that is up for grabs, both wardens and poachers are armed and are readily willing to take down the other in lethal encounters that make a warden’s life one lived under constant daily threat. In these cases not with a metaphorical bullet, but with a high calibre sharp-shooter designed to keep wardens well at bay.
This coalition of forces working with GMER has been in bringing the ivory trade’s biggest customer to the official table of negotiations to get them on the elephant’s side. China is by far the biggest consumer of ivory for art souvenirs made into delicately carved sculptures and statues that adorn the shelves of gift shops, galleries and duty free shops around the globe. The supply and demand cycle has also acted against elephants for, while imported ivory has been restricted and banned in certain countries, there has been an increase in price and demand of illegal ivory, which has further exacerbated the problem. This has made the harvesting of ivory tusks from live animals more extensive and has caused poachers to be better armed and become more mercenary in protecting themselves and their income from the authorities.
At the start of this month, Letco, the working arm of the government of Hong Kong placed the issue of banning the ivory trade on the table for debate and to take firm steps to deal with the problem. GMER and other organisations were present in strong numbers to witness this historic occasion. Schbert Mwarabu, a chief spokeman for GMER and other organisations was present not only to convey to the world press reasons for supporting a ban on the ivory trade but also, as an artist and singer, to introduce his music to the world.
His music loudly broadcasts the issues affecting the elephants which he has been recording for some time now. His music however arises from his talents in this artistic area and he has gained fame around the world for some of the tracks he has put down. During his youth he was a singer in the Catholic choir of his cathedral where he grew up, and his father was an accomplished singer and songwriter
THE GLOBAL MARCH FOR ELEPHANTS AND RHINOS ORGANISATION is a grassroots organization that has grown quickly to a powerful global force for change in wildlife advocacy and action. It aims to end all trade in ivory and rhino horn and campaign for maximum protection for elephants and rhinos. Tanzanian GMFER representative and core strategist Shubert Mwarabu made a special guest appearance at the 2-ton ivory crush in Central Park, New York on August 3rd 2017.
In 2016 GMFER organized events in approximately 147 cities in countries around the world including South Africa, Tanzania, Kenya, Botswana, Uganda, Cameroon, United Kingdom, USA, France, Australia, New Zealand, and Germany. GMFER mobilized hundreds of thousands of people who took part in these events and marches around the world.
|United States Consul General Tong Attends Event in Support of Ivory Ban (State Dept.)
Consul General Tong Attends Event in Support of Ivory Ban
Consul General Tong joined the “Global March for Elephants and Rhinos” event withformer Miss Chinese International Bernice Liu, Tanzanian pop star and activist Shubert Mwarabu, LegCo member Ted Hui, and the Angolan Consul General to Hong Kong at L’Hotel Elan on September 8 in Kwun Tong. The event was in support of Hong Kong’s proposed ivory ban and fighting wildlife trafficking. Worldwide, elephant populations have been dwindling, with fewer than 400,000 African elephants in the wild. CG Tong said, “Protecting endangered species is a matter of teamwork; everyone shares the responsibility – governments, citizens, artists, academics – all contributions matter. People are giving their lives in Africa to prevent the decimation of elephants. If people are giving their lives there, even though we live on the other side of the planet, we should also do our part.”
By U.S. Consulate General Hong Kong | 8 September, 2017 | Topics: News