A ban should mean a ban
Dear Friends of Wildlife
So I watched Panorama – Ivory Wars: Out of Africa last night (12th April 2012) and maybe it’s just because I am immersed in this issue (and have been for so long) that despite a very impressive presentation by Rageh Omaar and a lot of travel to different places, a number of key elements seemed to be missing.
The tragedy of the loss of life suffered by rangers and wildlife wardens across Africa at the hands of organised criminal syndicates and their henchmen.
The lack of accountability of the British Government and the other members of the CITES Standing committee who approved Japan and China as ivory trading nations (in 2006 and 2008 respectively) and the subsequent legal sale of more than 100 tonnes of stockpiled ivory to those two nations – which has led directly, in my view, to the massive increase in the price of ivory, the massive increase in illegal shipments and the massive increase in elephant poaching levels.
The burning question is not ‘What’s going on?’
It is “What are we going to do about it?” and quite clearly the British Government, the European Union, the international community should, without delay, revoke China and Japan’s ivory trade nations’ status. There should be no accommodation of any more legal ivory trade – no more stockpile sales, no more ‘one-off sales’ – nada, niente, rien, nichts, nothing.
A ban should mean a ban. Individual countries should amend their legislation to make it illegal to sell ivory in the airport in Cairo, in the markets of Bangkok and on the street-stalls of Kinshasa.
Only then will the message be loud and clear – as it was twenty years ago. That ivory is not desirable, it is destructive. That the ivory trade doesn’t support livelihoods, it steals away life. That ivory, far from being white gold is stained with blood.
PS Born Free is trying to help some of the poorest elephant range State countries to protect their elephants and if you would like to help, please check out and donate via www.bloodyivory.org