JH Wildlife Film Festival launches International Elephant Film Festival

(Jackson, Wyo.) - The Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival and the Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES) have teamed up in organizing an International Elephant Film Festival to raise global awareness of the various challenges facing the African and Asian elephants, and to mark next year’s UN World Wildlife Day (March 3, 2016). As the largest and most magnificent terrestrial animal on our planet, the elephant once roamed through much of Africa and Asia. Over the past decade, devastating poaching of African elephants for their ivory is reducing their overall numbers, and has decimated some African elephant populations. Over the period 2010-2012, an estimated 100,000 elephants were poached for their ivory. Industrial-scale poaching to feed the illicit ivory trade is among the most noticeable and destructive forms of wildlife crime. “At a time when the elephant crisis can still be averted, it is essential to take action that empowers local engagement and personal commitment,” explained Lisa Samford, Executive Director of the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival. “Our aim is to galvanize the power of media to inspire wonder, catalyze change and move the dial on elephant conservation.” “We are delighted to support this global Elephant Film Festival to amplify the global calls to stop the poaching of elephants and the illicit trafficking of elephant ivory," said CITES Secretary-General, John E. Scanlon. "The Festival will also capture the voices of local people from communities who are living with elephants, and seek to support them in securing a sustainable livelihood.” “The great political momentum that has been generated over the past few years to combat illicit wildlife trafficking is translating into deeper and stronger efforts to fight these highly destructive crimes on the front lines, where is it most needed. It is through collective action that we will win this fight, which will be a feature of the festival,” added Scanlon. The call for entries will close on January 15, 2016 and finalists will be announced in early February. Winners will be presented at a high level event to coincide global celebration of UN World Wildlife Day at UN Headquarters in New York on 3 March, 2016. For more information, visit: *Feature Photo: JH Wildlife Film Festival Elephant Sunday Summit. h/t Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival / Pitchengine Communities.* #buckrail #news