China to close over a third of legal ivory factories and shops by today, to remain on track to complete ivory trade ban by end of this year
Colman O’Criodain, WWF’s Policy Manager for the Wildlife Practice, comments: “China is the world's largest ivory market and its ban is a significant conservation win for elephants. We are extremely pleased to see that China has announced the first stage of their ban is on track. Should this progress continue and the ban be fully implemented by the end of this year, we would expect to see a significant reduction in illegal ivory trade, which is fueling the poaching crisis overseas. We strongly encourage other countries that have legal ivory markets that are contributing to the illegal trade to urgently adopt similar bans. This is particularly important for China’s immediate neighbors, to prevent its legal ivory stocks going into other markets.”
While elephant poaching in Africa appears to have peaked in 2011, around 20,000 continue to be killed illegally each year across the continent, primarily to feed demand for ivory in Asia, particularly in China.
“Law enforcement will be key to ensuring the success of this ban and others. It's imperative that we increase monitoring of illegal sales including online trade and ensure criminals face tough sentences. WWF and TRAFFIC are committed to stopping the rampant poaching of elephants, eradicating consumer desire for ivory and tackling the wider illegal wildlife trade.”
Last October’s CITES meeting also provided an opportunity to enhance international efforts to end the poaching and ivory trafficking by strengthening the National Ivory Action Plan (NIAP) process, which Thailand is participating in. The NIAP launched at the previous Conference of the Parties (CoP) in Bangkok in 2013 and is beginning to yield results.
For more information, please contact:
Conservation Communications Officer, WWF - Thailand
Phone: (+66) 2619 8521-2 Ext. 312, (+66) 83 816 0006
WWF is one of the world’s largest and most respected independent conservation organizations, with over 5 million supporters and a global network active in over 100 countries. WWF's mission is to stop the degradation of the Earth's natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by conserving the world's biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption. www.panda.org/greatermekong to learn more.