The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has taken the unprecedented step of pulverizing nearly six tons of elephant ivory stored at the National Wildlife Property Repository in Colorado.

With this bold action, the United States government joins a small group of nations - including the Philippines, Kenya, and Gabon - that have destroyed their ivory stockpiles to confront the multimillion dollar illegal ivory trade.

This trade, increasingly the domain of large global criminal syndicates and operating on the ground through organized rebel groups, has been responsible for the loss of some three-quarters of all African forest elephants in the past decade.

Across central Africa, elephant range states are calling for a moratorium on the sale and purchase of ivory. As a global leader in the fight to confront this crisis, the United States must do the same.

Read the full blog from Dr. Cristián Samper on the Huffington Post