The pandemic halted global travel and poachers become even more emboldened to encroach on protected lands. Now devoid of visitors and guides, travel hotspots are no longer serving as sanctuaries for iconic wildlife. Investigations demonstrate that keystone species like elephants are illegally poached at a rate of one animal per 15 minutes.
The African Development Bank approximates 9.1 million direct jobs arise from the travel and tourism sector across the continent. With an estimated 62.5 million annual visitors, the resulting $39.2 billion tourism industry is a cornerstone for local economies. Safari ride admissions and National Park fees serve as pivotal funding sources for many wildlife conservation initiatives. Tragically, the current rigid travel restrictions are dramatically increasing unemployment levels and devastating ecotourism. Desperation for income streams is causing a dramatic spike in poaching while leaving animals unprotected.
Prior to the pandemic, illegal wildlife trafficking already served as a lucrative criminal enterprise, with some estimates suggesting it brought in as much as $23 billion annually! One tragic example is that of a rhinoceros horn, which is more valuable by weight than cocaine, diamonds, or even gold. In some poaching hubs, a single pound of ground rhino horn fetches as much as $30,000 on the black-market and poaching of these treasured icons is projected to increase by 356% by the year 2030.
GLOBAL E-RACE EXTINCTION: SPN’S INITIATIVE THAT UNITES MULTIPLE NGO’S IN THE FIGHT AGAINST POACHING & CONSERVATION EDUCATION PLATFORMS.
Education is the most effective means of promoting environmental sustainability, fostering long-term behavioral change, and inspiring individuals to embrace a sense of personal responsibility and stewardship for the natural world. SPN’s Global Conservation Education Program is designed to equip and empower humanity to become actively engaged in local and global conservation efforts with the intention of dismantling the illegal wildlife trade. The demand for unlawfully obtained wildlife products must ultimately be destroyed or the trade will continue to persist through covert channels of operation.
SPN! also seeks to invest in African grassroots programs offering continued employment to game rangers throughout the pandemic, support occupational outlets that protect and defend African wildlife despite the absence of ecotourism, and directly care for the veterinary and dietary needs of elephants and rhinos left orphaned by the current poaching crisis.
To successfully address our ambitions, we endeavor to unite NGOs for the greater good in an innovative effort to establish collaborative conservation through our groundbreaking GLOBAL E-RACE EXTINCTION campaign! On August 8th-14th, SPN and its partners invite the world to participate in an international event raising money and awareness. Everyone can WALK, RIDE, or RUN in a symbolic display of taking a step towards a mutual goal of preserving wildlife and the planet!