Skip to main content

Obama launches $10 million campaign to fight wildlife poaching and trafficking in Africa

Obama launches $10 million campaign to fight wildlife poaching and trafficking in Africa

/

The president's initiative draws praise from conservationists, as elephant and rhino populations continue to dwindle

Share this story

elephant (wikimedia commons)
elephant (wikimedia commons)

President Barack Obama this week announced a new federal initiative to fight against wildlife poaching and trafficking in Africa. Launched under an executive order, the program calls for the State Department to provide $10 million in technical assistance and training in Kenya, South Africa, and the sub-Saharan region, where elephant and rhino populations have plummeted at alarming rates.

The White House also established a Presidential Task Force on Wildlife Trafficking charged with creating a national strategy within the next six months. The task force will include members of the Interior, Justice, and State Departments, and will be advised by an eight-member panel of experts.

Elephant populations are declining at alarming rates

Obama announced the initiative Monday in Tanzania, wrapping up the last leg of his weeklong trip to Africa. Economic and infrastructural development has been a recurring theme throughout the president's voyage. On Sunday, the White House unveiled an ambitious $7 billion plan to double access to electricity in Africa over the next five years.

Obama's wildlife initiative comes at a critical time for elephant and rhino populations. According to the the UN Environmental Programme, the global ivory trade has doubled since 2007, and tripled since 1998. In 2012, approximately 30,000 elephants were illegally slaughtered, the most seen in two decades.

On the black market, rhinoceros horns sell for around $30,000 a pound, while elephant tusks fetch approximately $1,000 a pound. The market is driven primarily by demand from China and other Asian countries, and multilateral efforts to ban the trade have proven difficult to enforce. Experts say that on a global level, the wildlife trafficking market is valued at between $7 billion and $10 billion.

Obama's plan draws praise from conservationists

Conservationist advocacy groups lauded Obama's announcement yesterday, saying the initiative could give wildlife poaching and trafficking some much-needed global attention.

"We applaud President Obama’s executive order to elevate the US government's engagement in the fight against the growing illegal wildlife trade," the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) said in an e-mail statement to The Verge. "The president's decision to prioritize the issue will hopefully save hundreds of lives of people on the frontline of this battle, and also save hundreds of thousands of individual animals exploited by this brutal trade."

Today’s Storystream

Feed refreshed 10 minutes ago Not just you

E
External Link
Emma Roth10 minutes ago
We might not get another Apple event this year.

While Apple was initially expected to hold an event to launch its rumored M2-equipped Macs and iPads in October, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman predicts Apple will announce its new devices in a series of press releases, website updates, and media briefings instead.

I know that it probably takes a lot of work to put these polished events together, but if Apple does pass on it this year, I will kind of miss vibing to the livestream’s music and seeing all the new products get presented.


E
External Link
Emma RothSep 24
California Governor Gavin Newsom vetoes the state’s “BitLicense” law.

The bill, called the Digital Financial Assets Law, would establish a regulatory framework for companies that transact with cryptocurrency in the state, similar to New York’s BitLicense system. In a statement, Newsom says it’s “premature to lock a licensing structure” and that implementing such a program is a “costly undertaking:”

A more flexible approach is needed to ensure regulatory oversight can keep up with rapidly evolving technology and use cases, and is tailored with the proper tools to address trends and mitigate consumer harm.


A
The Verge
Andrew WebsterSep 24
Get ready for some Netflix news.

At 1PM ET today Netflix is streaming its second annual Tudum event, where you can expect to hear news about and see trailers from its biggest franchises, including The Witcher and Bridgerton. I’ll be covering the event live alongside my colleague Charles Pulliam-Moore, and you can also watch along at the link below. There will be lots of expected names during the stream, but I have my fingers crossed for a new season of Hemlock Grove.


J
Twitter
Jay PetersSep 23
Twitch’s creators SVP is leaving the company.

Constance Knight, Twitch’s senior vice president of global creators, is leaving for a new opportunity, according to Bloomberg’s Cecilia D’Anastasio. Knight shared her departure with staff on the same day Twitch announced impending cuts to how much its biggest streamers will earn from subscriptions.


T
Twitter
Tom WarrenSep 23
Has the Windows 11 2022 Update made your gaming PC stutter?

Nvidia GPU owners have been complaining of stuttering and poor frame rates with the latest Windows 11 update, but thankfully there’s a fix. Nvidia has identified an issue with its GeForce Experience overlay and the Windows 11 2022 Update (22H2). A fix is available in beta from Nvidia’s website.


A
External Link
If you’re using crash detection on the iPhone 14, invest in a really good phone mount.

Motorcycle owner Douglas Sonders has a cautionary tale in Jalopnik today about the iPhone 14’s new crash detection feature. He was riding his LiveWire One motorcycle down the West Side Highway at about 60 mph when he hit a bump, causing his iPhone 14 Pro Max to fly off its handlebar mount. Soon after, his girlfriend and parents received text messages that he had been in a horrible accident, causing several hours of panic. The phone even called the police, all because it fell off the handlebars. All thanks to crash detection.

Riding a motorcycle is very dangerous, and the last thing anyone needs is to think their loved one was in a horrible crash when they weren’t. This is obviously an edge case, but it makes me wonder what other sort of false positives we see as more phones adopt this technology.


A
External Link
Ford is running out of its own Blue Oval badges.

Running out of semiconductors is one thing, but running out of your own iconic nameplates is just downright brutal. The Wall Street Journal reports badge and nameplate shortages are impacting the automaker's popular F-series pickup lineup, delaying deliveries and causing general chaos.

Some executives are even proposing a 3D printing workaround, but they didn’t feel like the substitutes would clear the bar. All in all, it's been a dreadful summer of supply chain setbacks for Ford, leading the company to reorganize its org chart to bring some sort of relief.