Citizens for Justice and Peace

American ivory trade researcher murdered in Kenya

06, Feb 2018 | CJP Team

The Guardian reported that Esmond Bradley Martin died after he was stabbed in his home in a suburb of Nairobi on February 4, 2018. Although early reports indicate that police believe he died as a result of a bungled robbery, there are also that his death was linked to his work, the Guardian said. Bradley Martin, who once served as UN Special Envoy for rhino conservation, played a key role in shining a spotlight on the international ivory black market. He started chronicling the illegal wildlife trade in the 1970s, closely examining the flow of rhino horn and elephant ivory, as well as other commodities. Dan Stiles, who worked with Bradley Martin, told the Guardian their work “provided data and numbers for what had, up until then, been anecdotal. Once you had the data you could then monitor the trade.” According to UN Environment, Bradley Martin’s efforts supplied countries like China “with the hard data they needed” to crack down on illegal wildlife markets; China banned the sale of ivory last year. Moreover, his research also influenced decisions taken by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, a global treaty that aims to protect endangered plants and animals. According to the Guardian, Africa has seen a significant decline in elephant and rhino numbers over the last half century, with east Africa seeing a 50% decline, and Tanzania seeing a 60% drop between 2009 and 2014. Meanwhile, South Africa saw a 9,000% spike in poaching between 2007 and 2014. Recent data indicates that in 2017, 197 environmental defenders were killed worldwide, with nearly four dying every week.



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