States pledge urgent measures to try to halt illegal ivory trade and save Africa's elephants

The International Union for Conservation of Nature, or IUCN, says key states where the illegal ivory trade thrives have pledged urgent measures to try to halt the illicit trade and secure elephant populations across Africa.

The agreement was announced Wednesday at the African Elephant Summit convened by the government of Botswana and the IUCN held in Gaborone over the past few days.

One of the 14 measures the delegates agreed to involves classifying wildlife trafficking as a "serious crime." According to a statement issued by the IUCN, this will unlock international law enforcement cooperation provided under the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime, including mutual legal assistance, asset seizure and forfeiture, extradition and other tools to hold criminals accountable for wildlife crime.