General Article One way to fight terrorism? End the ivory trade

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Recently, I had the honour of taking part in an extraordinary event at the annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) where nations and NGOs made a historic commitment to end elephant poaching by stopping the killing, stopping the trafficking and stopping the demand for ivory.

Wildlife trafficking is currently the fifth most profitable illegal trade (after drugs, human trafficking, oil theft and counterfeiting). Ivory is one of the most valuable wildlife products on the black market; it’s currently valued at more than US$1,000 a pound. In addition, it is virtually untraceable – as the domestic trade of ivory is still legal in some countries, it’s nearly impossible to tell its source or legality.

The illegal wildlife trade is a stark example of the direct connection between natural resources and both US and global security. Wildlife trafficking, a $7–10 billion enterprise, funds terrorist groups like the Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda, Darfur’s Janjaweed militia and Al...

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