Unveiling the Ivory Trade Online
“Right now the quickest way to spread the message that the illegal ivory trade is killing elephants by their thousands is to take it online. That is exactly what IFAW has done with Unveiling the Ivory Trade,” says Jason Bell, IFAW Director - Elephant Programme.
“It’s a multi-media, interactive report that addresses the complicated issues of the ivory trade and that meets the way people communicate right now. If we are going to stop elephants being slaughtered for their ivory, then we have to find appealing ways to get that message across. Unveiling the Ivory Trade does that.”
Unveiling the Ivory Trade has gone live as CoP16 of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) meets in Bangkok, Thailand this week.
“It will help IFAW – www.ifaw.org – bring our concerns to the fore and highlight the challenges we are facing in conserving the species. Hopefully it will also help the viewer to make better informed choices about how we save elephants,” said Bell.
“It is clear that elephants are under more threat today, than they have been in years. In 2011, law enforcers seized 24,3 tonnes of ivory; in 2012 they seized almost 16 tonnes; and 2013 is already showing signs of being a disaster for elephants with five tonnes of ivory being seized in January alone, most of that linked to East Africa.”
Most illegal ivory is destined for Asia, in particular China, where it has soared in value as an investment vehicle and coveted as “white gold”. Limited availability of legal ivory China purchased from the stockpile sale from southern Africa in 2008 has, in turn, boosted demand encouraging illegal ivory trade and the poaching of elephants to meet market needs. IFAW says an estimated 25,000-50,000 elephants were killed for their ivory in 2011.
Unveiling the Ivory Trade can be viewed free online or can be downloaded as an iPad app.
About IFAW (the International Fund for Animal Welfare)
Founded in 1969, IFAW saves animals in crisis around the world. With projects in more than 40 countries, IFAW rescues individual animals, works to prevent cruelty to animals, and advocates for the protection of wildlife and habitats. For more information, visit www.ifaw.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.