The demand for ivory to make decorative items, jewelry, and trinkets is pushing elephants to the brink of extinction.
Burgeoning demand fuels poaching and trafficking, both of which, according to our recent report Criminal Nature, are as dangerous as global arms, human and drug trafficking.
In addition to supporting anti-poaching measures, IFAW addresses all the links in the ivory chain, from source to transit to consumption.
Ivory stockpile destruction
Nations around the world have seized tons of illegally trafficked ivory since a ban on international trade of ivory went into effect in 1989.
An increasing number of countries along the trade chain from elephant range states to ivory consumer nations have publicly destroyed their confiscated ivory stockpiles through burning and crushing.
IFAW has participated in ivory destruction events in the US, UK, France, Belgium, mainland China and Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of China.
Destruction of confiscated ivory tusks and trinkets serves a symbolic purpose: to bring attention to the fact that tens of thousands of elephants are being killed for their ivory each year.
IFAW also believes that any legal sales from existing stockpiles will make it easier for illegal ivory to enter the market, and we campaign against any future stockpile sales.
Raising awareness and changing attitudes
IFAW conducts behavior change communication campaigns in key consumer countries. Through public outreach, IFAW educates consumers about the cruelty, conservation impacts and illegality of wildlife trade.
An independent study of an IFAW ivory demand reduction campaign in China showed that our customised, multi-pronged approach has been effective in reducing purchases of ivory products.
Many ivory buyers are unaware of the cruelty and conservation impacts of poaching elephants. Through media partnerships in China, Germany, France, the UK, South Africa, the Netherlands and the US, IFAW has shared its animal welfare message with millions of travelers and potential consumers of ivory.