WWF CARPO : Hong Kong plans record illegal ivory destruction

 

For more Information, please download the Final Communiqué of WWF CARPO: Hong Kong plans record illegal ivory destruction

 

In Press :

 Hong Kong to destroy 28 tonnes of seized ivory after advisers endorse plan - U-turn will mean incineration of 28 tonnes of tusks, amid hopes move will send out message to rest of world on the protection of elephants… Find more…

 

National Geographic : Twenty-eight tons of Hong Kong's elephant ivory will soon go up in flames—the largest stockpile ever burned, the semi-autonomous Chinese region announced Thursday. Find more… 

 

 

Yaounde (May 14) – WWF and TRAFFIC welcome the Hong Kong government’s plan to burn 28 tonnes of confiscated ivory beginning on Thursday. The upcoming burn of illegal ivory is the largest destruction of seized ivory on record.

 

Hong Kong is a major transit hub and end-use market for illegal ivory and is ranked fifth in the world in ivory seizures. Enforcement efforts to intercept illegal ivory sends the strong message that Hong Kong will not tolerate ivory trafficking and that the rest of the world should not either.

 

“By destroying its total confiscated ivory stock, authorities in Hong Kong follow the courageous example of Gabon, Chad, the United States and France. We are convinced that this gesture will contribute to diminish the alarming international demand for ivory, and in particular in Asia” declared Bas Huijbregts, who leads the the Wildlife Crime program for WWF in Central Africa.

 

It should be noted that this demand is the root cause of the elephant poaching plague in Africa. Central Africa is particlary affected, where more than two thirds of its forest eelphants have been killed by poachers between 2002 and 2012.

 

Since 2000, Hong Kong has seized approximately 30 tonnes of illegal ivory. According to the Elephant Trade Information System, nearly six additional tonnes of ivory were seized in countries en route to Hong Kong and almost two and a half tonnes of ivory were seized in countries after leaving Hong Kong.

 

The incineration of 28 tonnes of ivory will take at least one year to complete. When concluded, the Hong Kong burn will be the largest amount ever destroyed. Recent ivory destructions have also taken place in the United States, Chad, and China.

 

WWF and TRAFFIC call on Hong Kong to conduct independent audits of all ivory stocks slated for destruction. Independent audits are essential to ensure that the amount of ivory destroyed matches the amount publicly stated and ensures that governments participating in ivory destruction events do so with accountability and transparency.

 

The government should also ensure tighter monitoring and control over ivory sold in the market, including mandating the public display of commercial licenses in all retail shops that legally sell ivory products. WWF and TRAFFIC urge consumers to stop purchasing ivory products as a way of aiding elephant conservation efforts.

 

“This remarkable ivory destruction should be followed up by actions which ensure that Hong Kong complies with international commitments, such as CITES. This relates to regulating the domestic market, but also to expanding the suite of law enforcement technologies and techniques used for profiling and targeting cargo from high-risk countries or increased use of forensic examination of seized products,” said Dr. Yannick Kuehl, TRAFFIC’s regional director, South & East Asia.

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For more Information, please download the Final Communiqué of WWF CARPO: Hong Kong plans record illegal ivory destruction

 

Please contact for more Information: Bas Huijbregts, Head of Policy Engagement, Illegal Wildlife Trade Campaign - Central Africa, World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) (bhuijbregts@wwfcarpo.org)

In Press :

 Hong Kong to destroy 28 tonnes of seized ivory after advisers endorse plan - U-turn will mean incineration of 28 tonnes of tusks, amid hopes move will send out message to rest of world on the protection of elephants… Find more…

 

National Geographic : Twenty-eight tons of Hong Kong's elephant ivory will soon go up in flames—the largest stockpile ever burned, the semi-autonomous Chinese region announced Thursday. Find more… 

 

 

Images credits from top to down :  (1) Paul Shin Kam-shing (left) and assistant director (conservation) Chan Yiu-keung held the sample of the incinerated ivory sample. The city has made a number of large seizures of ivory (inset) in recent years amid a growing demand in mainland, Customs officers said. Photos: Thomas Yau and David Wong (2) A shipment of more than 700 ivory tusks worth over $1 million was seized by customs officials in Hong Kong in early January 2013. Photograph by Bobby Yip, Reuters  - National Geographic.com

 

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