If we truly want an end to violence in the world, then we need to initiate that end in ourselves first. In order to achieve this, we must recognise that thoughts and words come before action. And so, we must begin by tackling the violence in our own thoughts, words, and behaviours if we wish to see an end to it in the behaviour of others.
It was Monday 10 November when we heard the news, Tim the famous Amboseli Tusker had a serious injury and ground teams had been unable to locate him. It is the type of news you dread, and immediately brings to mind two other mighty Tuskers of Kenya, Mountain Bull and Satao, both killed this year by poachers.
This week Hong Kong officials incinerated the first batch of ivory, from a 29.6 tonne stockpile, which in January 2014 they committed to destroy over a two year period. There are those that will question this move, claiming that destroying ivory stockpiles acts to increase the value of remaining ivory. The reality however is very different.
This human cost should not be forgotten. Rather it should be central to any anti-poaching policy. If we do not change the conversation, this evil trade will only continue unabated. With any luck, an acknowledgement of the economic and security implications of this poaching crisis may help formulate a more nuanced response that will save Africa's great wildlife before it is too late.