Written by: Karim Kara and Megan Carr
The Global March for Elephant and Rhino took place in over 130 cities around the world over the weekend. The Global March movement is applying pressure on China to stop the ivory trade entirely and to impose strict penalties on those countries involved with the illegal trade of both ivory and rhino horn.
Documents were sent via courier by each participating city to the “Gang of 19 countries” that are not doing enough to tackle the illegal ivory trade while a memorandum calling for the South African government to implement tougher measures to combat elephant and rhino poaching was sent to the Minister of Environmental Affairs by each South African city participating.
This year’s Global March for Elephant and Rhino Cape Town event was held at Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens. The rainy weather meant the planned picnic did not go ahead but the official Global March for Elephant and Rhino Memorandum of Demand was hand delivered to the Chinese Consul General with a symbolic wreath of paper flowers by Megan Carr, founder of the Rhinos in Africa Foundation and organiser of the Cape Town march, and Francis Garrard, founder of the Conservation Action Trust.
The Cape Town march was led by Johni Edwards, the newly appointed Deputy Shadow DA Minister for the Environment, Andrea Von Gunten, Miss Earth SA Ambassador, Megan Carr and Francis Garrard. Supporters marched up to the Boomslang treetop canopy walkway where Johni Edwards and Francis Garrard addressed the marches about the crisis facing our elephants and rhinos in Africa.
Meanwhile in Nairobi, nearly 3,000 voices echoed through the streets at the Global March for Elephants and Rhinos. The walk started at the National Museum of Kenya and ended at the Kenya Wildlife Services head quarters with the Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Water and Natural Resources, Judy Wakhungu officially flagging the event off.
Leading the charge, among many, were US Ambassador to Kenya, Robert Godec, Kenya Wildlife Service rangers, staff from Save the Elephants, Ridestrong Cycling Club and Wildlife Direct.
The aim of the walk was to raise awareness about the dire situation of elephant and rhino poaching and to call out to the policy makers for action against poaching and for a ban on ivory and rhino horn trade.
Siggi Hosenfeld, a frequent visitor to Kenya and elephant lover said, “It can only be hoped that this march demonstrates the peoples’ anger and frustration toward the imminent race toward extinction for our wildlife, particularly elephants and rhinos, and that the leaders will listen to the call of the people keenly and take action… fast!”