The Giants Club Summit has just closed in Kenya as work begins on new Presidential actions in support of the elephant protection initiative. Elton John, Richard Branson and Bear Grylls sent personal messages of support to the gathering of African heads of state, corporate leaders, philanthropists, celebrities and scientists all together with one common purpose – to stop the destruction of elephants at the hands of poachers.
The Kenyan president, Uhuru Kenyatta is hosting the event and yesterday he set fire to a huge stockpile of ivory yesterday in front of other African leaders and foreign officials. This is to show his country’s commitment to saving Africa’s elephants. More than 100 tonnes of ivory taken from nearly 7,000 elephants are still burning now.
Liz Hurley was also in attendance which of course offered valuable Mail Online space to the cause. Only problem was that before they addressed the reason why she was there, they addressed what she looked like – which was slightly missing the point “Ever-youthful Elizabeth’s skin radiated a healthy glow and her lips looked full and plump with a slick of pink lipstick”.
Financiers and donors have pledged more than $5m in funding for new Kenyan, Gabonese, Botswanan and Ugandan initiatives centred on protection of elephants in the wild, the management of human-elephant conflict and better ways to fund the maintenance of key elephant refuges. The Giants Club was founded by Dr Max Graham who set up the charity Space For Giants who I have met on a number of occasions and the premise is that no nation, UN body or NGO can save elephants unless they all work together and they are certainly making a big difference. The aim is to protect 50% of Africa’s elephants by 2020. The Giants Club believes that if they can encourage other key influencers from the worlds of music, art, film, business, politics (and blogging) to help spread the message then the acceleration of success will be greater. “The Giants Club is about uniting many otherwise separate groups of people who together can accelerate progress in protecting Africa’s remaining elephants and the landscapes they depend on” said Max Graham.
Personally, I wouldn’t have burnt the ivory. I would have instead invited Ai Wei Wei, the extraordinary Chinese artist to design a moving and powerful installation that could have been put on display in an art gallery or museum in Nairobi in order to create an iconic statement for the future. Although it would have been an installation worth over £80m on the black market so they would have needed pretty good security to keep it safe from poachers I guess.