Stop Ivory and the EPI member states have vocally applauded China’s historic decision to close its domestic ivory market at the end of 2017.
The closure of China’s ivory market, the foremost destination for ivory from innumerable poached elephants, is widely considered to be the single most important step to securing a future for elephants in their current range.
According to the Great Elephant Census that studied the situation in Africa, in the last seven years over 144,000 African elephants were slaughtered for ivory, with the majority of that ivory heading for China.
“China’s announcement will provide a strong platform for African leaders to continue their urgent work to secure funding for National Elephant Action Plans developed under the EPI, and, it is hoped, a less challenging environment to implement them.”- Dr. Dolmia Malachie, Chad’s National Elephant Action Plan Coordinator,
The move by China is a significant milestone in the global process to make ivory an unacceptable commodity, but our work continues to close existing domestic ivory markets. The legal trade in ivory threatens the future of Africa’s elephants by perpetuating demand and serving as a cover for illegal trade.
“We hope that other consumer countries will join China in banning the trade. United we can make a difference”- Dawud Mume Ali, Director General of the Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Authority, previous Chair of the Elephant Protection Initiative Implementation Board.
Ivory belongs on an elephant, and when the buying stops the killing stops too.