Friend of the Earth initiates effort to make North American and EU governments take steps to prevent further endangerment of giraffes
Friend of the Earth, the Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) that promotes sustainable agriculture and farming methods, has launched a petition on Change.org to encourage governments and retailers to curb commercial trade in Giraffe products. Giraffes are endangered, with their populations dwindling due to poaching, fires and human encroachment on their habitats. Friend of the Earth has launched the petition in honor of World Giraffe Day, which takes places on June 21.
“A century ago, there were more than a million Giraffes in sub-Saharan Africa. Today, there are fewer than 100,000,” said Paolo Bray, Director of Friend of the Earth. “This steep decline is a disaster, but there are concrete steps that governments and corporations can take to reduce the endangerment of this splendid species. Our petition asks that everyone who can influence the condition of Giraffes in the world do what they can to improve the situation.”
The petition asks for more controls banning the sale of products made from Giraffes. These include furs and skins, as well as use of Giraffe parts in traditional medicine. The hope is that by reducing market demand for such products, poaching will decrease in tandem. It is a timely move, as Giraffes have experienced a population decline of 40 percent over the past 30 years. In particular, the Masai giraffe has lost half of its numbers in the last 30 years. There are now only about 32,000 of them remaining in Tanzania and southern Kenya.
Other factors are contributing to Giraffe endangerment. Giraffes face habitat loss and degradation caused by infrastructure development, livestock incursions and illegal encroachment by humans. These threats are further exacerbated by diseases, civil unrest, climate change and human population growth. A lack of awareness and deficient law enforcement are also issues.
World Giraffe Day was created by the Giraffe Conservation Foundation (GCF)
The petition is available on Change.org.