At CoP14 in 2007 a coalition of West, Central and East African countries joined forces to support a combined Kenya and Mali proposal for a twenty-year moratorium on the ivory trade.
In February 2008 nineteen national representatives met in Mali to plan for the implementation of CoP14 Elephant decisions. The Parties present agreed to the Bamako Declaration to formalise the African Elephant Coalition which so declared:
The coalition will strive to have a viable and healthy elephant population free of threats from the international ivory trade. Parties to the coalition will also develop an elephant action plan that will encompass national and regional elephant strategies that promote non consumptive use of elephants through development of ecotourism for the benefit of local communities.
Members include: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Cote d’ Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrae, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo, Liberia, Southern Sudan, Rwanda, Uganda and Mauiatania is a member as non-range state.
The composition of the African Elephant Coalition includes high-level government officials from national wildlife management authorities and technical and scientific representatives from civil society, with small secretariats in each member state. The Coalition is therefore a powerful lobbying voice at CITES Conference of the Parties CoP meetings.
The African Elephant Coalition has always expressed its deep concern about the crisis facing elephants and its conviction that a ban on international and domestic trade in ivory is the best way to protect elephants.