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CITES: BAN ALL TRADE IN IVORY NOW

CITES: BAN ALL TRADE IN IVORY NOW
  
  

 


Why this is important

ELEPHANTS ARE BRUTALLY KILLED FOR THEIR TUSKS - ALL IVORY IS SOURCED THIS WAY.

The REALITY of each Elephants death - witnessed on the ground:

"An adult male elephant curled up on the ground, with half of its face and trunk cut away and pushed, aside. The ivory has gone. The elephant with no face or trunk was still struggling, with limbs swinging constantly...

And most often, massive killing leads to the destruction of entire elephant family. Five years ago, on April 4, 2008, in Chad National Park.64 elephants were killed by crazy poachers within 50 minutes. Their corpses were lying on a small half football field of forest land, possibly due to their excessive number, or because the poachers were afraid of being discovered, and only half of the ivory was taken away. You could clearly make out the traces of a small elephant, too frightened to struggle."

(Source: http://www.wcs.org/press/press-releases/southern-weekend-reporter.aspx)

ELEPHANTS ARE HEADED FOR EXTINCTION, FAST.

The ONLY way to STOP this is to BAN ALL trade in IVORY. PLEASE ASK CITES to do this NOW, as a matter of URGENCY.

Statistics:

The iworry campaign (www.iworry.org) established by the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, Kenya, reports that:

"1 elephant is killed for it's ivory every 15 minutes (that's 36,000 each year), at this rate none will roam the wild in 2025".

Most recent 2013 reports are that African elephant numbers are now between 200,000 and 500,000 (depending on source of information).

The elephant is being pushed towards extinction because of the ivory trade.

The illegal killing of elephants and the illicit ivory trade has been occurring for some time, but since 2006 the illicit trade in ivory has increased, with a surge in 2010 to UNPRECEDENTED levels (as noted by TRAFFIC data). Elephant killing has also increased dramatically over the same period, including mass poaching incidents where large numbers (10's - 100's) of elephants, entire families of elephants, are killed. The elephant poaching and illicit ivory trade has recently been linked to the funding of terrorist groups.

TIME to STOP the KILLING and STOP the IVORY TRADE.

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna (CITES) allows, monitors and regulates the international trade in ivory.

The "regulated" trade system has clearly not worked. The demand for ivory continues to grow.

Time to stop the debate. CITES must
- Ban ALL Ivory Trade (International & Domestic, including pre-1989 ivory)
- Abolish the CITES Decision Making Mechanism for Trade in Ivory


BACKGROUND INFORMATION


The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna (CITES) allows, monitors and regulates the international trade in ivory. CITES placed a international trade BAN on ivory trade in 1989 (elephants were listed on CITES Appendices I).

Iain Douglas-Hamilton, founder of the Save the Elephants Fund, notes that in the period immediately following the 1989 BAN on international ivory trade, elephant populations began to recover (approx. 1989 - 2000).


Back in October 2002, CITES reported the following in a Press Release ["http://www.cites.org/eng/news/pr/2002/021004_ivory.shtml]

"In terms of global ivory trade trends, the ETIS reports indicate that ivory seizure volumes progressively declined from 1989 to 1994, remained stable at 1994 levels through to 1998, but have been on the increase ever since.

"Our analysis shows that, since 1998, demand for ivory in China has dramatically increased. In fact, it is the single most important factor influencing the increasing trend," said Milliken.

Between 1989 and 1997, all elephant populations were listed in Appendix I of CITES, which imposed a global ban on international commercial trade in elephant products. In September 1997, the large and increasing elephant populations of Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe were transferred to Appendix II, allowing a one-off ivory sale to Japan two years later. In 2000, the South African elephant population was also transferred to Appendix II, but there was no provision for trade in ivory. ETIS was established to monitor whether or not the limited resumption in ivory trade would have negative impacts on elephant populations.

"We're concerned that illegal trade in ivory is increasing," said Willem Wijnstekers, Secretary General of CITES. "At the same time, it is some consolation to note that this increase does not appear to be related to decisions taken under CITES, but rather potent and new economic forces in countries that traditionally value elephant"

In summary,
- ivory seizures declines from 1989 (BAN) to 1994, was stable through to 1998, then increases
- the increasing trend in illicit ivory was noted in this press release in 2002
- the increase in illicit trade noted in 1998 (occurring the year following the down listing of several elephant populations to Appendix II (1997) )
- it notes demand for ivory has dramatically increased in China since 1998 (occurring the year following the down listing)
- it notes that this illicit trade increase does not "appear" to be related to decisions taken under CITES (although it does not explain on what basis this statement is made)

At the CITES Conference of Parties CoP16 Bangkok 2013 TRAFFIC and the CITES Secretariat-General acknowledged the dire situation of the elephant (MIKE data) and unprecedented levels of illicit ivory trade (ETIS data) in their respective agenda items.

CITES have had 11 years (2002 - 2013) since noting the increase in illicit ivory trade to "control" the regulated and illicit ivory trade. Currently (2013) their monitoring shows:
- unprecedented levels of illicit ivory trade (ETIS data 2013 CoP16)
- increased illegal killing of elephants (MIKE data 2013 CoP16)
- China and Thailand are the main destinations for illicit ivory (TRAFFIC data)


What CITES has done:
- approved two "one-off sales" of ivory to Japan (1998), and Japan and China (2008)
- initiated and continue the Decision Making Mechanism for Trade in Ivory
- Established the International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime (ICCWC) in 2013

What CITES has NOT done:
- Controlled or reduced the illicit ivory trade
- Instigated a Complete Ivory Trade Ban

What CITES can do:
Time is quickly running out for the Elephants, while the debate over whether a regulated ivory trade or a complete ivory trade ban will save the elephant from extinction. The "regulated" trade system has clearly not worked. The demand for ivory continues to grow. Time to stop the debate and for CITES to:
- Ban ALL Ivory Trade (International & Domestic, including pre 1989 ivory)
- Abolish the Decision Making Mechanism for Trade in Ivory


Posted October 12, 2013
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