Earth League International (formerly Elephant Action League), together with the Italian Ministry of Environment and the Italian Forest Police, is proud to have delivered Italy’s first Ivory Crush on 31st March 2016, in Rome.
With this public demonstration, Italy joins the fight against elephant poaching, ivory trafficking and transnational criminal organizations profiting from wildlife crime.
Italy’s first-ever Ivory Crush took place at the world famous Circo Massimo in Rome. At 5 pm local time, nearly one ton of raw and worked ivory was fed into an industrial-sized stone crusher, effectively removing the commodity from potential circulation.
Those attending the ceremony include the Italian Minister of Environment Mr. Gian Luca Galletti, the Head of the Italian Forest Police Mr. Cesare Patrone, U.S. Ambassador to Italy Mr. John Phillips, the Director of CITES Italy (Italian Forest Police) Mr. Raffaele Manicone, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. David Lane, Earth League International’s co-founders Andrea Crosta and Gilda Moratti, and members of the diplomatic community. The ceremony was presented by Italian journalist Ms. Stella Pende.
The Italian destruction event was part of a cycle of public destructions, which began in 1989 when the global ivory trade was banned. During the ivory crush in Rome the Italian Under Secretary of the Ministry of Environment, Ms. Barbara Degani, symbolically “passed the baton” to the Kenyan government represented by Miss. June Chepchirchir, in the occasion of the largest ivory destruction ever in Nairobi on 30th April 2016.
EAL helped position Italy in the community of nations actively fighting against criminal networks, traffickers and terrorist groups profiting from the illegal trade of ivory and other wildlife products such as rhino horn and timber.
Andrea Crosta, co-founder of EAL stated that, “this event was symbolic of the problem we are trying to address: public and private entities from all over the world came together in one place to express our determination in working to end the global illegal wildlife trade. Ivory should be valuable only to elephants. If we want to save them from extinction, ivory should not have any commercial value and the last legal domestic ivory markets should be closed down for good”.
“We are very proud to have gained the support of the Italian Government for this initiative where almost a ton of seized ivory has been destroyed,” says Gilda Moratti, co-founder of Elephant Action League together along with Andrea Crosta and Francesco Rocca. “The Italian Governmental Institutions’ presence is a testament to the strength of our commitment and the value of our project.”
Elephant Action League wishes to thank the following partners that were crucial for the success of the first ivory crushes in Italy:
- The City of Rome
- Impianti Industriali Srl and Oricom
- Solar Srl
- Gruppo Barletta
- Palazzi & Gas Events