Former first daughter Chelsea Clinton called for a ban on all sales of ivory at a Tiffany & Co. Foundation–hosted panel discussion, held on April 26 at Milk Studios in New York City.
“Ivory is the grease of the wheels of so many horrific trades, including traffic in drugs and traffic in people,” said Clinton (pictured), who currently serves as the vice chair of the Clinton Foundation. “I strongly believe that luxury- good companies have a role to play here. They have to spread the word that ivory is no longer acceptable, that it isn’t a status symbol. They have to let people know that ivory only comes from dead elephants. A lot of people think that ivory regenerates.”
She said that the United States needs to take a stronger stand on ivory trafficking.
“As Americans we have a real role to play here,” she said. “Ivory is still legal in a lot of areas. We are still a significant market for ivory. Millions of dollars in ivory are bought and sold here.”
Clinton made her remarks at a screening of the new film My Africa, which was made possible in part by funding from the Tiffany & Co. Foundation. The 10-minute virtual reality film, narrated by Lupita Nyong’o, is seen through the eyes of a young villager in Kenya. A trailer for the film can be seen here.
Another panelist, Anisa Kamadoli Costa, the chairman and president of the Tiffany & Co. Foundation, said it was important for Tiffany to fund conservation-minded films like My Africa since the “materials that we use all come from the Earth. We feel like we have a moral imperative to take care of the environment.”
Also on the panel were Sammy Leseita Lemoonga, chief operating officer of the Reteti Elephant Sanctuary in Kenya, and Dr. M. Sanjayan, the CEO of Conservation International, which also underwrote the film.
Images courtesy of Tiffany & Co.