“In a minute there is time for decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse”. We cannot claim this moment as a victory. Rather, we must see it as a call to action to use our voices to call for strengthened protections for animals, for one another and for the planet we all call home”
Politics aside, the path to gaining respect is paved with knowledge and Empathy. Passionate conservationists, biologists, environmental lawyers have worked for years to place bans to help protect our wildlife. Since then we have only expanded our knowledge within conservation and even looking at big game hunting. To reverse this Ban would set us back and reverse work done by many scientists throughout the years when looking at Elephant populations. A trophy ban alone could not save the entire African elephant population because poaching continues to be a large scale problem. Large scale tusk harvesting happens to tend to the international ivory trade and The US has made recent moves to fight this. Having this Ban in place allows increased regulation where ivory can be imported and sold. Conservation efforts such as this help to stabilize and protect the elephant population. The Ivory ban has done nothing but good, Having the Ban in place creates incentive for these African countries to ensure and practice sustainable hunts especially when they are only seeking tourist money from these American Safari hunters. When the decision to lift this ban was announced, it was followed by endless amounts of criticism. The Ban was put In place because these hunts were supposed to contribute to the survival of the species by the profits going into conservation. With little management and tracking of the funds the hunts did not play their role or contribute to the survival of the species. African elephants are listed as threatened under the ESA ( Endangered species act) which means that any action taken towards the species should be contributing to their conservation and increasing their numbers in the wild. Elephant populations in Africa have declined up to 74% since 2005 according to National Geographic. Poaching for ivory and big game hunting remains a huge problem and has not been a sustainable method of conservation. The idea behind this is that by charging fees for safari’s, which in theory will increase local economy and then provide an incentive to protect the wildlife. Although the most well known and intelligent conservationists, naturalists, ecologists committed to sustainability through a way of preserving wild places, and increasing animal populations through game hunting, Killing animals to save them has been suggested not to work and the proof is in the declining population of the elephants. Trophy hunting is not an effective means of conservation and this sport should not be encouraged for species facing threats or staring extinction in the face. Elephants are at a major risk and reversing this ban will only make that worse. Politics, money, and tourism aside the most important goal is conservation which has been of least concern and we are seeing the negative effects of that. the threat of extinction is more real than realized and the damage done to the elephant population leads to a destruction of an entire industry, and more importantly an entire ecosystem. After reading the politics, criticism and backlash about the ban the only conclusion I have come to is that the issue should never be an animal facing extinction, it should be about the exploitation, cruelty, and anthropogenic causes that will make the extinction a reality. Despite the poaching, uneducated people, failed conservation actions and the politics, reversal of this ban will never turn things around. The perspective is the same from in the field or behind a computer, In Zimbabwe or New York, survival of the species should be the main target and it is not too late to help. If all the species and wild beasts were gone from earth, man would die; for whatever happens to the wild beasts, soon happens to man. All things are dynamic, and neither have more or less a right to be here. As beautiful as Ivory is, the money gained from its aesthetic quality can never buy us back our wildlife.
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