China just banned ivory sales. This is a massive step forward for the protection of elephants all around the world!
By the end of the year 2017, all ivory trade in China will be banned, as per Chinese government’s new rule. Aili Kang, Asia Director of the Wildlife Conservation Society, says: “This is such great news that will shut down the world’s largest market for elephant ivory. I am very proud of my country for showing such positive leadership that will help ensure that elephants have a good fighting chance to beat extinction”.
Every year, between 20,000 and 30,000 elephants die due to poaching purposes only. This is so sad. Elephants are disappearing and facing extinction. The Savannah elephant population decreased by shocking 30% in the last 7 years. Now there are less than 400,000 wild elephants left in Africa. The ivory usually ends up being sold in Asia, primarily in China, with them being the leading consumer. Therefore, the Chinese ban on the ivory sales is a truly significant and positive move for the world’s elephant population.
Conservation groups call this decision as “historic” and a “game changer” for the future of elephants.
China has the biggest ivory market in the entire world. Some estimates suggest around 70% of the world’s trade ends up there. Ivory can reach up to 1,500 dollars per pound on the black market. The commercial processing and all sales of ivory will stop by 31 March.
“Setting such an aggressive timeline to close once and for all the largest domestic ivory market in the entire world is globally really important,” says Elly Pepper, the deputy director of wildlife trade. “It is a complete game changer. It could be the turning point that brings the elephants back from the brink of extinction,” she says.
While the international market in ivory was closed in 1989, legal domestic markets have continued in many countries around the world until today. Hopefully, all of this will stop soon.