The Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) and its partners on Thursday announced to make available US$80 million for preservation of African Elephants to stop the ivory poaching which threatens animals with extinction.
Announcing the effort in New York, former United States secretary of state, Hillary Clinton and her daughter Chelsea said the money will be used to hire and train 3,100 park rangers at 50 sites in eastern and central Africa including Malawi; to fund sniffer-dog teams along the top smuggling routes; and to train law-enforcement officials and judges responsible for prosecuting international trafficking gangs.
The CGI is looking to raise an additional $70m for the anti-poaching plan over the next three years.
According to CGI. There is a growing demand for ivory in China and Asia has contributed to the continued slaughter of African Elephants.
President Joyce Banda together with Heads of State from Angola, Tanzania, Uganda, Gabon, Senegal and Cameroon attended the meeting which took place on the sidelines of the CGI Annual General Meeting.
Commenting on the news, Presidential Press Secretary Steven Nhane said: “Elephants are a big asset for the tourism industry especially in Malawi where tourism is also one of the five pillars under the economic reform programme. So the funds are for a very good cause and will help boost the tourism industry on the continent.”
About 285,000 elephants – or two-thirds of the entire elephant population in Africa – live in the targeted areas. The money will also be used to lobby for a ban on all commercial ivory sales until elephant populations are brought back to healthy levels in Africa, conservation leaders said.
There were roughly 1.2million Elephants in Africa in 1980 compared to roughly 420,000 last year.