On Thursday 12th September, almost exactly three years since IFAW first made contact with Leonard Joel, we hosted Azzedine Downes, global president and CEO of IFAW for a fund-raising and awareness initiative. The focus of the evening was Leonard Joel’s voluntary policy on the cessation of rhinoceros horn and elephant ivory and the timing of this event was particularly poignant.
To begin with IFAW was celebrating its 50th anniversary and we our centenary. But beyond these milestones much more meaningful events were being both celebrated and discussed. This year the United Kingdom introduced its world-leading legislation to restrict and reduce the trade in these materials and we, Leonard Joel, publicly committed to match this legislation effective 1st January 2020. Our further embrace of cessation in these materials means we reduce our 50% De Minimis threshold to 10% for antiques and 20% for musical instruments, effectively reducing even further and more dramatically our remaining incidental trade in pieces that have a small element of ivory in them. Our decision is timely given the Australian government will be considering this year the adoption of local legislation to dramatically reduce trade in these materials and it is our sincere hope that, as once the biggest auction trader in these materials, our adoption of the UK model will encourage local government and industry to follow our lead and embrace a comprehensive ban on the trade of these materials.
The evening was supported not just by IFAW’s amazing, committed team from all over the globe but also by Andrew Burke of the Australian Financial Review who hosted a panel discussion, a wonderful audience of clients and friends who donated generously to anti-poaching projects and just as generously no less than nine gallerists and artists donated works of art for Art for IFAW, a timed online auction with all proceeds to IFAW.
A total of almost $35,00 was raised and I would like to sincerely thank ALL generous donors and bidders. Your money is truly going to aid a great cause.