What We Fight For
We believe in justice for animals and humans alike a global grass roots movement that amplifies the voices of indigenous peoples is at the heart of both justice for the human and the non-human. Our vision aims at building human communities that see non-human communities as deserving of justice.
We fight to End
The Trade in Ivory & Rhino Horn and Animal Body Parts in #TCM
We demand a total ban on all international and domestic trade in ivory, rhino horn, and lion bone and the removal of all animal body parts from Traditional Chinese Medicine (#TCM). Additionally, we demand the Revocation of #TCM from the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) Diagnostic Compendium.
In July 2016, a near-total ban on commercial African elephant ivory was established in the United States; in the same year Governor Brown signed into law a state bill banning the sale of virtually all ivory in California. In June 2016, the nation’s most comprehensive wildlife trafficking ban was signed into law in Hawaii. The states of New Jersey, New York and Washington joined the movement to ban elephant ivory and rhino horn with laws of their own.
GMFER was instrumental in a collaborative effort that influenced the passage of US federal regulations and state laws banning the sale of ivory and rhino horn with direct action in Hawaii and California. In 2020, the UK’s ivory ban, one of the toughest in the world became the law of the land. New Zealand will likely follow.
In 2016, GMFER’s advocacy, marches and events throughout the world were cited by the U.S. Department of State as a causal factor in the plummeting of ivory prices in China and the world.
“People in more than 130 cities around the world, including Hong Kong, Nairobi and Washington participated in October’s Global March for Elephants and Rhinos. According to experts, these marches keep political pressure on leaders to protect the world’s largest land animal.”
U.S. Department of State
In 2018-2019, China banned the sale of ivory; however, the nation’s ivory ban will prove woefully insufficient to protect Africa’s elephants if China does not address its booming illegal ivory trade. The same legal and illegal conduits that supply animal body parts into China -those feeding a voracious and lucrative Traditional Chinese Medicine trade- are the same conduits that supply elephant ivory and rhino horn into China and Asia.
If the world wants an end to the poaching of elephants, rhinos, tigers, pangolins, leopards, jaguars, rare birds, snakes and myriad other species, it must address the use of animal body parts in #TCM.
If the world wants an end to extinction, pathogens and spillover events, an end to global socioeconomic disruption, it must address the use of animal body parts in #TCM.
If the world wants an end to human and animal suffering and the restoration of a healthy human-wildlife interface, it must address the use of animal body parts in #TCM. It must also call for the WHO to revoke its endorsement of #TCM from the WHO’s diagnostic compendium.
GMFER intends to fight to End The Trade in Ivory and Rhino Horn, the Removal of Animal Body Parts from Traditional Chinese Medicine (#TCM) and the Revoking of #TCM from the WHO’s Diagnostic Compendium; its compilation of “credible medicines”. Join us!
We fight to end
Corruption, Wildlife Crime and Injustice
“There is an increasing recognition that to curb the global surge in wildlife trafficking, the world’s governments must increase their efforts to fight the corrosive corruption that enables it. Corruption fuels and abets transnational organized crime, and is particularly rife in high-value wildlife trafficking.”
Transparency International maintains a corruption perception index. Sub-Saharan Africa is the lowest scoring region in the world, with a score of 32/100; despite no nation in the world scoring a perfect 100, the African continent contains the highest number of lowest scoring nations in the world.
Corruption breeds tribalism, nepotism and a segregation of wealth and power. It is a precursor to collusive behavior patterns and policies that sponsor the absence of transparency and accountability. The conditions bred by corruption maintain a vicious cycle reinforcing injustice, poverty and vulnerability. Predictably, many of those disenfranchised by corruption turn to crime to sustain themselves and their families. Poaching throughout the African continent is –largely- driven by poverty and the absence of sustainable income. The indigenous who are disenfranchised are the first victims of corruption; they stand on the front lines of injustice caught between powerful, corrupt governments and desperation.
GMFER works to expose corruption by creating agency among the disenfranchised, by identifying leaders in civil society and amplifying their voices, by sponsoring and organizing online and on-the-ground campaigns to raise awareness on the commonality of suffering in both marginalized human and non-human communities. We build resistance and resilience among the disenfranchised, creating opportunities and spaces for voices demanding accountability.
Our campaigns and vision extends to joining forces with other conservation and social justice groups; we believe in the power of a collaborative spirit that leads to creative, cutting edge movements.
Amplifying the Voices of
There is danger in romanticizing the past when attempting to define the future. The future must be crafted anew with reference to the past. ‘Ancient’ does not necessarily translate to ‘democratic’, ‘credible’, ‘rational’ or ‘scientific’. The absence of suffrage, female genital mutilation and slavery are but a few examples of harmful cultural practices most nations have abandoned in the face of the 21st century.
Still, several hazardous cultural practices persist, causing sweeping ecological destruction and harming humans and animals alike. Traditional Chinese Medicine (#TCM) is quintessential of a dangerous historical practice persisting solely by virtue of its lucrativeness and ‘ancientness’. Despite #COVID19, #TCM continues to use the body parts of numerous –pathogen heavy- species in its various unscientific potions. TCM drives extinction and sets the stage for the evolution of future pathogens and spillover events spawning –even- more geopolitical instability.
Turning to practices like #TCM is bad medicine, bad policy.
If we are to craft a future worthy of the best of humanity, we must abandon dangerous cultural practices whose shelf-life has expired and amplify those aspects of the human-estate underlining democracy, compassion and reverence. To that end, colonial modes of conservation must also be abandoned and replaced by an authentic ethos that pays attention to the voices of the indigenous living within and adjacent to earth’s last wild places. The objective must not be to romanticize the indigenous nor the ancient cultures inhabited by the indigenous; neither must we objectify such humans as poster children for a sustainable earth, rather, the paradigm must be to understand, collaborate, learn, emulate and teach.
If the earth’s last iconic wild creatures are to be cherished, if they are to survive perilous historical cultural practices and the capricious vagaries of modernity, the indigenous voice must begin to tell a new story around the campfire, a story that redefines our relationship with wild creatures and the wild places they call home.
GMFER is committed to creating spaces for an unfolding new story; committed to creating agency for the indigenous voice so an ancient story can be retold anew; a story that must be reimagined in the presence of humility, reason and science. This new story must represent the rights of earth’s last wild places and the wild creatures who inhabit them. It must be deliberate in cultivating a landscape of justice for both the human and the non-human.
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