The Link between Ivory & Terrorism
In a few of my last personal posts, I explained why you should care about the issue of illegal ivory trade. I’ve shared clips from National Geographic explaining who the world’s ivory villain is and my personal thoughts from the world-wide ivory battle. Finally, I’ve explored how people of many backgrounds and beliefs all seem to have one common thread and moral obligation to protect the earth.
Now, it’s time to look at the issue of ivory from a matter of national security. An article in the Huffington Post last October expounded on Hilary Clinton’s cry that the illegal ivory trade affects both national security for countries in Africa, as well as here in the United States.
Vastly increased firepower and ruthless tactics on the part of poachers jeopardize security, stability, and rule of law in countries across the globe. In Cameroon, for example, recent cross-border incursions by foreign poachers-and the resulting massive slaughters-pose a serious threat to peace and security in the region. Moreover, because wildlife trafficking is highly profitable-worth billions of dollars each year-there is a growing link to transnational organized crime. These trafficking syndicates bribe officials to circumvent national laws, rouse mayhem in local communities, and threaten (and sometimes kill) park rangers and other citizens. In Africa, upwards of a hundred park rangers are killed in the line of duty every year by poachers. In some cases, proceeds from the sale of elephant tusks, rhino horns, and tiger skins are used to pay for drugs, weapons, and bribes, creating a vicious cycle of havoc that can lead fragile states into further instability. The implications stemming from the illicit wildlife trade-in addition to the trade itself-are therefore of profound concern to the United States and millions of Americans.
I encourage you to take a moment to read the article Wildlife and Foreign Policy: What’s the Connection? You can also read how CITES links the ivory trade with organized crime HERE.
The ivory trade is more than just a few elephants being slaughtered. It directly impacts the safety of citizens around the globe and the future of an entire keystone species.