American Express Conservation Lecture 2012
FROM SAVANNAH TO SHANGHAI –
THE TRAIL OF BLOOD IVORY & RHINO HORN
The annual Tusk Conservation Lecture, supported by AMEX, was a sell out this year with standing room only at the Royal Geographical Society in London. Two of the world’s leading conservationists, and experts on the subject Ian Craig and Steve Trent took to the stage to deliver an impassioned and fascinating lecture.
Their hard-hitting talk, hosted by broadcaster and journalist Kate Silverton, highlighted the alarming escalation in poaching of elephant and rhino across the African continent and the driving forces behind it.
Ian Craig is one of Africa’s most respected wildlife conservationists and the architect behind the successful Lewa Wildlife Conservancy and a host of groundbreaking community conservancies under the umbrella of the Northern Rangelands Trust. Ian said: "Elephant are once again on the brink of an unprecedented disaster and the world needs a new think and approach on the entire problem."
Steve Trent, Executive Director of the Environmental Justice Foundation, has 25 years experience of environmental investigations. With rhino horn more valuable than gold, Trent called for new ideas “aimed at turning off the demand, primarily in China, that is driving the poaching.” He added that, “it is vital that we fully understand the depth of the poaching crisis which has seen as many as 35,000 elephant slaughtered over the last twelve months and up to two rhino a day being poached in South Africa alone”.
Reinforcing this message, The Rt. Hon. Richard Benyon MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary for Natural Environment and Fisheries at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, spoke at the end of the lecture regarding the UK Government’s position: “We want to do everything we can to stop the killing of these iconic species and stem the unprecedented demand for elephant ivory and rhino horn before it’s too late.” He added, “We believe that by working together with organisations like Tusk and the public, we can give these magnificent animals the best chance of survival.”
Many thanks to our title sponsors of 18 years American Express, and also to Painted Dog Wines, who provided the wines for the reception following the lecture.
Click here to see a video of the lecture online.
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