Anti ivory trafficking event in Circus Maximus
ROME -- The first ‘Ivory Crush’ in Italy will be held in Circo Massimo on Thursday March 31 from 5 p.m. The event has been organised by Elephant Action League (EAL) and aims to raise awareness of fight against wildlife crime, including criminal networks, traffickers and terrorist groups who all profit from the illegal trade of ivory and other animal products.
At the event almost a tonne of seized ivory, including tusks and carved objects, will be destroyed. The objects will be crushed in an industrial stone crusher in front of the attendees, lending the event its name.
Andrea Crosta, one of the co-founders of EAL, has said that “behind elephant poaching and ivory trafficking there is a huge human toll and corruption at all levels: from money laundering to weapons trafficking, and the exploitation of entire local communities. The illegal ivory trade also provides funds to dangerous criminal networks and terrorist organisations.”
Through this event EAL and the Italian Environmental Ministry hope to send a strong signal to the world showing that Italy will not tolerate the trafficking of ivory and that they are committed to elephant protection, as well as indicating their intention to support small, local communities in Africa to try to keep criminal networks from exploiting them.
This Ivory Crush is one of many that the organisation has done around the world since the ivory trade became illegal in 1989. At the end of April, they will be undertaking one of the most impressive ivory destructions in Nairobi National Park by burning around 120 tonnes.
“We are very proud to have gained the support of the Italian Government for this initiative where a symbolic amount of seized ivory will be destroyed,” says Gilda Moratti, another co-founder of EAL. “The Italian Governmental Institutions’ presence is a testament to the strength of our commitment and the value of our project.”
In 2010 they launched an investigation that showed the link between the illegal ivory trade and the Somali terrorist group Al-Shabaab, completely revolutionising attitudes towards elephant poaching and ivory trafficking. Andrea Crosta tells us, “Every day at least one hundred elephants are slaughtered for their ivory and hundreds of people per year are killed or injured trying to poach or defend elephants.”
The event’s scheduled for five p.m. in Circo Massimo on Thursday March 31. You can follow #ItaliaIvoryCrush on Twitter.
Elephant Action League:Elephant Action League (EAL) is an innovative hybrid non-profit organization that merges the worlds of intelligence, investigations and conservation in service of wildlife and the people who protect it. Its mission is to fight wildlife and forest crime through Concrete, Innovative and Collaborative projects. Legally based in the United States, EAL was established in 2013 by three Italians, Andrea Crosta, Gilda Moratti and Francesco Rocca. EAL’s recently published the report BLENDING IVORY, a 10-month undercover investigation in China on ivory and rhino horn trafficking. EAL is also the creator of WildLeaks, the world’s first whistleblowing initiative dedicated to wildlife and forest crime. www.elephantleague.org
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For further information:Elephant Action League Andrea Crosta e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org