On Saturday October 4, over 100 people gathered in Hinds Community Plaza in Princeton for the Global March for Elephants and Rhinos Princeton 2014 Rally.
The event was organized by students from Hopewell Valley Central High School and Princeton High School, as part of worldwide global march for the cause, to bring public awareness to the plight of these endangered animals.
“It is estimated that an elephant is killed for its ivory every 15 minutes. A rhino is slain for its horn every nine hours in Africa. There are fewer than 400,000 elephants and less than 18,000 rhinos left in the wild in Africa,” the group shared with MercerMe.
Dr. Nitin Sekar from Princeton University, an ecologist and conservationist who has worked on the ecology of both Asian and African elephants and Princeton High School’s Protect The Tusk co-presidents Ben Segal and Sanjay Kanduri spoke publicly for the cause. Also speaking were Dr. David Angwenyi a a global educator and Founder and CEO of Global Connections Kenya, which is a program in which many HVCHS students participate, and Ellyn Ito from Seeds To Sew, a New Jersey non-profit dedicated to developing educational and economic opportunities for women and girls in compromised areas in the developing world.
The students specifically rallied for a long list of actions:
- A complete ban on commercial and domestic trade in ivory internationally.
Mandatory destruction of all ivory stockpiles, including confiscated ivory.
- Investment in border force training regarding wildlife crime and increase port (sea and air) security, including investment in equipment and personnel to conduct increased inspections of goods to better identify illegal wildlife products.
- Strengthened and implemented laws associated with wildlife crime.
- Where laws are enacted, ensure the investigation and prosecution of crimes are commensurate with the criminality associated with serious wildlife crime.
- Provide resources to effectively combat wildlife crime.
- Investment into ‘boots on the ground’ and technical assistance.
- Tackle corruption and elite interests linked to the illegal and legal trades.
Princeton High School’s “Protect The Tusk” sold t-shirts and raised over $800 just during the rally alone which will be donated to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Kenya.
Check out the group’s Facebook page to follow and find out more information!