The US is one of the two only remaining superpowers. And being the ‘global policeman’, the world tends to pay attention when Uncle Sam speaks or does something that has global implications. Or if they gently arrest a young white male who shot 9 black people in a church.

This morning, however, when New Yorkers wake up, the world’s big brother will do a good thing. He will crush ivory in the prestigious, iconic Times Square. Well done big brother.

This is indeed a big statement that the US, which is the world’s second largest retail market for ivory behind China, is sending to the world. China did her part and crushed a rather large consignment of ivory in Beijing last month – much larger than what the US is crushing this morning, obviously. But the statement the US is sending is indeed quite large and powerful given that the US has been mostly silent about the impact on elephants of their domestic ivory market – until recently.

Now, this is good for elephants in Africa, of which tens of thousands have been killed for their ivory in recent years. I see a lot of people celebrating this gesture for many days after today. But we need to look at the bigger picture: the elephant in the oval office room, if we could call it that. The US needs to ban all forms of ivory trade withing its borders. From New York to California. From Alaska to Texas. Only then will the elephants, and elephant lovers in all of Africa, give a genuine collective applause.

China has promised to end legal ivory trade in an unspecified timeline. The US needs to tell us when, or at least how, they plan to end ivory trade. Because it goes without saying that the end of trade will make ivory worthless to humans and thus end poaching. When both China and US citizens stop buying ivory, and then Vietnam and all other ivory market countries follow suit, then we can watch elephant populations start to recover. Because there will be no commercial reason to kill elephants.

Kenyans, and most Africans, don’t need to be told how important it is for elephant populations to recover. Think tourism. Kenya, for instance, is reeling in one of the worst slumps in tourist arrivals ever. There are many intricate variables that have brought this country into this mess. The most prominent is insecurity and terrorism. How does that link back to elephants? Well, it has been proved that poaching (and illegal charcoal) is indeed funding terrorism and other forms of organized crimes including illegal weapons smuggling, people trafficking, drugs and other vile vices.

All these contribute to insecurity, and combined with loss of elephants and other wildlife, we are looking at a barbarian with a huge club repeatedly breaking tourism’s knees. More directly, the mere presence of poachers makes wildlife tourism areas, such as national parks and reserves, unsafe for tourists. Nobody likes dying. And every non-African likes dying least if it happens in darkest Africa.

So, dear New Yorkers, when you wake up this morning, before you go to work, call your office and tell whoever is responsible of your time in the office, that you will be a couple of hours late. That you will be passing by Times Square to save an elephant. After being educated by your Fish and Wildlife Service, our African Wildlife Foundation, your World Wildlife Fund, IFAW and others during and after the event, write to your legislators and ask them to craft and pass laws that make possession and trade in wildlife products illegal in all America. We will thank you profusely.

PS: You can watch the event live on this USFWS webcast

Times Square Ivory Crush is a Big Statementhttp://kijanimedia.co.ke/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/ivory-crush-banner-ny.jpghttp://kijanimedia.co.ke/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/ivory-crush-banner-ny-150x150.jpg Sam Maina Poaching,,,,
The US is one of the two only remaining superpowers. And being the 'global policeman', the world tends to pay attention when Uncle Sam speaks or does something that has global implications. Or if they gently arrest a young white male who shot 9 black people in a church. This...
<a href="http://localhost/kijaniwp/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/ivory-crush-banner-ny.jpg"><img class="alignnone wp-image-781 size-full" src="http://localhost/kijaniwp/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/ivory-crush-banner-ny.jpg" alt="" width="757" height="243" /></a> The US is <del>one of</del> the <del>two</del> only remaining superpowers. And being the 'global policeman', the world tends to pay attention when Uncle Sam speaks or does something that has global implications. Or if they gently arrest a young white male who shot 9 <del>black</del> people in a church. This morning, however, when New Yorkers wake up, the world's big brother will do a good thing. He will crush ivory in the prestigious, iconic Times Square. Well done big brother. This is indeed a big statement that the US, which is the world's second largest retail market for ivory behind China, is sending to the world. China did her part and crushed a rather large consignment of ivory in Beijing last month - much larger than what the US is crushing this morning, obviously. But the statement the US is sending is indeed quite large and powerful given that the US has been mostly silent about the impact on elephants of their domestic ivory market - until recently. Now, this is good for elephants in Africa, of which tens of thousands have been killed for their ivory in recent years. I see a lot of people celebrating this gesture for many days after today. But we need to look at the bigger picture: the elephant in the <del>oval office</del> room, if we could call it that. The US needs to ban all forms of ivory trade withing its borders. From New York to California. From Alaska to Texas. Only then will the elephants, and elephant lovers in all of Africa, give a genuine collective applause. China has promised to end legal ivory trade in an unspecified timeline. The US needs to tell us when, or at least how, they plan to end ivory trade. Because it goes without saying that the end of trade will make ivory worthless to humans and thus end poaching. When both China and US citizens stop buying ivory, and then Vietnam and all other ivory market countries follow suit, then we can watch elephant populations start to recover. Because there will be no commercial reason to kill elephants. Kenyans, and most Africans, don't need to be told how important it is for elephant populations to recover. Think tourism. Kenya, for instance, is reeling in one of the worst slumps in tourist arrivals ever. There are many intricate variables that have brought this country into this mess. The most prominent is insecurity and terrorism. How does that link back to elephants? Well, it has been proved that poaching (and illegal charcoal) is indeed funding terrorism and other forms of organized crimes including illegal weapons smuggling, people trafficking, drugs and other vile vices. All these contribute to insecurity, and combined with loss of elephants and other wildlife, we are looking at a barbarian with a huge club repeatedly breaking tourism's knees. More directly, the mere presence of poachers makes wildlife tourism areas, such as national parks and reserves, unsafe for tourists. Nobody likes dying. And every non-African likes dying least if it happens in darkest Africa. So, dear New Yorkers, when you wake up this morning, before you go to work, call your office and tell whoever is responsible of your time in the office, that you will be a couple of hours late. That you will be passing by Times Square to save an elephant. After being educated by your Fish and Wildlife Service, our African Wildlife Foundation, your World Wildlife Fund, IFAW and others during and after the event, write to your legislators and ask them to craft and pass laws that make possession and trade in wildlife products illegal in all America. We will thank you profusely. PS: You can watch the event <a href="http://www.fws.gov/home/webcast/" target="_blank">live on this USFWS webcast</a>