In 2010, recognizing the rapidly growing rlephant poaching threat, all 38 African Elephant Range States came together to commit to the African Elephant Action Plan (AEAP).
In 2014, leaders from all four regions of Africa: Botswana, Chad, Gabon, Ethiopia and Tanzania – founded the Elephant Protection Initiative to implement the AEAP. The EPI exists to implement national versions of the AEAP, country by country.
In the implementation of the EPI, each country draws up its own NEAP. NEAPs form part of that country’s development strategy and enable national implementation of the unified African Elephant Action Plan (AEAP). Each NEAP sets out a 10-year strategy, from which specific, budgeted, fundable and assessable proposals for action are developed on a prioritised basis.
Stop Ivory has developed practical Standards and Guidelines for Wildlife Authorities to use, usually in a multi-disciplinary stakeholder process, to ensure that their NEAPs are both locally relevant and tied into the continental approach.
NEAPs recognise that the immediate and longer term protection of elephants and the solution to the illegal ivory trade lies not only with national wildlife authorities. Local communities, the criminal justice system, law enforcement, development agencies and civil society all have a critical role to play.
Stop Ivory, with the support of its partners, has made huge progress across each phase of engagement.
INSTITUTIONALIZING THE EPI: The EPI has been institutionalized to provide a visible and tangible proposition that the world can understand and get behind.
COMMITMENT PROCESS: Turn-key sign up procedures have been developed for additional (non-sponsor) countries to join as signatories and for organisations to pledge their commitment to the EPI.
PARTNERING: Partnerships have been secured with dozens of NGOs, with private sector organisations and governments across the world, including the United Nations, the World Bank and the Global Environment Facility, The Wildlife Conservation Society, Ernst and Young, Save the Elephants, and Huawei. The support of our partners has been absolutely indispensable to the work of Stop Ivory and to the success that has been witnessed today with the EPI.
INVENTORY PROTOCOL: An Inventory Protocol has been developed in collaboration with the CITES Secretariat, Ernst & Young (EY), Dr Sam Wasser, (DNA Specialist at University of Washington), Born Free Foundation and Save the Elephants.
INVENTORY TECHNOLOGY: Inventory Technology, based on user-friendly tablet data entry (provided by Huawei Africa (PTY) Ltd. and bespoke Kenyan software designer Bityarn Consult Ltd) has been created.
MARKET CLOSURE: Guidelines for the closure of domestic markets have been developed.
DISPOSAL: Guidelines for disposing of ivory stockpiles have been developed.
NEAP GUIDELINES: Guidelines and Standards for the development of National Elephant Action Plans have been developed by Simon Hedges of the Wildlife Conservation Society and IUCN.
NEAP APPLICATIONS: With the support of Stop Ivoryâ€™s networks and tools, Chad, Ethiopia and Gabon have already drafted National Elephant Action Plans (NEAPs) an unprecedented multi-discipline, consultative process with experts.
DISBURSEMENT PROCESS: The first priority proposals are under consideration for disbursement funding.