Today Is A Victory For Elephants!
I have been waiting all week to be able to post this good news. Just this morning at headquarters, we heard that the Standing Committee of CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species decided against the “one-off” sale of 60 tons of stockpiled ivory.
Explanation: International trade in ivory is illegal and banned under CITES. Therefore, whenever elephant poaching occurs, which happens much more often than is publicized, the ivory piles up with nowhere to go. And poachers grow hopeful of being able to make a profit from their kill.
Two countries in particular have had an interest in purchasing that ivory for a while: Japan and China. At the last minute, before the Standing Committee met, China pulled out and no longer requested to be a “trading partner”. (Thankfully!) But Japan pushed on.
Unfortunately, despite Japan’s lack of compliance with CITES recommendations of a proper monitoring system, the Standing Committee granted Japan permission to be a “trading partner”. Not only does the Japanese government not have the means to monitor the import and sell of ivory, the last time Japan purchased a “one-off” stock pile in 1999 ivory markets in Asia began spinning out of control fueling further poaching activity in Africa!
However, at the end of the day, this is a victory for elephants. CITES banned the “one-off” sale for the moment…..I’ll keep you posted on any further developments.