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Paula Kahumbu

CEO, WildlifeDirect

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How do we save African elephants from extinction?

African elephants are being slaughtered for their ivory as a surprising consequences of the rise of Asian economies. Symbolic of wealth and prestige, ivory was once only affordable for a few. Now with hundreds of millions of newly rich people in Asia, demand has outstripped supply and elephants are being killed at a rate that will drive them to extinction in less than 15 years.

African governments are unable to stop the poaching - the price of ivory is driving impunity, corruption and is now under control of criminal cartels.

How do we stop this? What will it take to reverse this trend? Do we need to change cultures? Appealing for compassion in China, Thailand, Philippines? Is it about law enforcement?

We need some bright ideas from TEDsters who love African animals and who know how to cause change in Asia

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  • Mar 3 2013: Tranquilise then remove tusks so there's nothing to take. This is short term patch. Real problem is us. There is between 6 & 7 billion of us. We are a spreading virus from natures POV. Long term solution; 1-2 children per family across the globe. We need to stop spreading & slowly taking all wildlife habitat. It's that simple. There is simply no need to have this many humans. Especially you India! What would be a comfortable global population? A sustainable one for all life? 4 billion? 3?

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