Ivory coalition brings together leaders from UK, China, and US.

Michael Gove, UK Environment Secretary, announced the coalition at the Illegal Wildlife Trade conference in London yesterday.

The coalition, The Ivory Alliance 2024, will seek to reduce the demand for ivory and lobby for the closure of the domestic ivory markets and enforce bans and other ivory legislation.

Michael Gove said: “I am delighted to be chairing a new initiative, the Ivory Alliance 2024, to bring together political and cultural leaders from across the world to tackle ivory demand and close domestic ivory markets.”

The Alliance is aiming to secure at least 30 commitments to domestic ivory bans by the end of 2020.

Helen Clark, former Prime Minister of New Zealand said: “I am delighted to see the UK’s domestic ivory ban progressing through Parliament and to be part of the Secretary of State’s Ivory Alliance 2024, which will tackle the demand side of the severe poaching crisis we have seen in the past decade.

“This crucial agenda has my strong support, and I look forward to playing my part by engaging government leaders on strong legislation and enforcement.”

Earlier this year, Gove announced legislation that will band ivory sales in the UK to help to protect elephants. This approach is in line with that taken by the United States and China which means the legislation will be narrowly defined to exclude items that do not contribute to the poaching of elephants.

The Duke of Cambridge echoed the sentiments of Michael Gove at the conference in his keynote speech during the opening ceremony. He told the audience how he wouldn’t be able to look his three children in the eye if the world didn’t try harder to end illegal wildlife trade.

Currently, there are six political members of the Ivory Alliance representing six countries: Michael Gove, Helen Clark, Josephine Ramirez-Sato (member of the House of representatives in the Philippines), Elizabeth Quat (Member of the legislative council, Hong Kong), Professor Ephraim Kamuntu (Minister for Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities, Uganda), and Toni Atkins (California Senate President).