POACHING AND ILLEGAL WILDLIFE TRAFFICKING IS A THREAT TO NATURE IN AFRICA
Poaching and illegal trafficking of wildlife is a serious threat to a number of species in our world, and also in Africa. Yearly illegal trade of trafficking animals and their body parts is estimated to be worth over 20 billion US dollars: the fourth largest criminal activity in the world, right behind drug, weapon and human trafficking.
Poachers kill elephants for their ivory. In the 1930s there were 5 to 10 billion elephants in Africa, and today only around 400 000 – 450 000 individuals. It’s estimated that nearly 100 elephants are being slaughtered daily for their tusks.
Merely in Tanzania, the annual number of killed elephants is around 11 000 and it is only increasing. In 2009, Tanzania was home to 110 000 elephants and in 2013, there was only 60 000. In 2015 no more than 40 000 elephants were alive to call Tanzania their home. At its current rate, the elephants will be eradicated within 7 to 15 years. This is more than an animal protection issue: wildlife extinction is an economical threat to countries like Tanzania – countries that strive from tourism.
Wildlife body parts have a massive demand in the Far East. Most of the trafficked ivory ends up in countries like China and Thailand. Ivory trade is legal within China, thus forming to be the perfect place for the criminal syndicates to sell their illegally imported ivory. Team Rokka, along with other animal protection organisations, emphasize that China’s government and their actions are critical in preventing elephants from becoming extinct.
Team Rokka aims to, for example, expose the leaders in ivory trafficking and reveal the corrupt administrative structures that enable the illegal activities. Through Team Rokka’s mission, it is possible to bring awareness to the situation and pressure governments to help save elephants, and all other wildlife, from illegal trafficking and extinction.