China has just announced a ban on all ivory trade by the end of 2017.
This decision is a huge step forward in preserving the ever-decreasing wild elephant populations, due to China being home to the biggest ivory market in the world.
Estimates have suggested that 70% of the world’s ivory trade ends up in the country, and within the Chinese market ivory can reach up to £850 per kilogram.
Conservation groups worldwide have shown great positivity for China’s decision, hailing it as “historic” and a “game-changer for the future of elephants”.
The ban will stop both the commercial processing and the sale of ivory by 31st March 2017, when all registered traders will be faded out, meaning that all ivory markets will end by the end of the year.
Global conservation group WWF praised the latest news, calling it a “historic announcement… signalling an end to the world’s primary legal ivory market and a major boost to international efforts to tackle the elephant poaching crisis in Africa”.
The international ivory market has been officially closed since 1989, although legal domestic markets have continued throughout many different countries across the globe.
The current rate of decreasing elephant populations has reached a devastating state, with approximately one elephant being killed every 15 minutes, meaning that elephant populations across Africa have decreased by one third in just the past seven years, according to a recently published Great Elephant Census.
Illegal wildlife trade campaigner organisation WildAid’s CEO Peter Knights said, “China’s exit from the ivory trade is the greatest single step that could be taken to reduce poaching for elephants. We thank President Xi for his leadership and congratulate the State Forestry Administration for this timely plan. We will continue to support their efforts through education and persuading consumers not to buy ivory.”
China’s ban comes as a great surprise to many, but it will certainly be the positive way forward for helping elephant populations to recover.
About The Author
Jess Murray is a wildlife filmmaker and conservation blogger, having recently returned from studying wildlife and conservation in South Africa, she is now striving to spread awareness about the truth behind faux conservation facilities throughout the world. You can follow Jess on Facebook Here