China cares about saving the elephants
China is making commitments nowadays to stop the sourge of elephant poaching as the Chinese authorities recently destroyed 662 kilograms of ivory that was seized after being smuggled into the Asian country.
According to media reports, Chinese wildlife officials crushed the ornate carvings and raw tusks by using conveyor belt in front of the media in Beijing.
China is known to be a prominent destination for illegal ivory trade. Ivory products are seen as a status symbol by majority of the Chinese peopl.
A report also reveals that more than 100,000 wild elephants were killed from 2010 to 2012. The slaughter is fuelled by escalating demand of illegal ivory trade in China.
In February this year, China announced a temporary, one-year ban on all imports. China has signed the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).
China is considered as one of eight nations which failed to show commitments to stop the illegal ivory trade.
The United States Commends China for Ivory Commitments
With the recent move of China in cracking down illegal trade of ivory, the United States of America today hailed the Asian country for destroying over 600 kilograms of ivory in Beijing today.
In a press statement in Washington DC, Director Jeff Rathke
Director for Office of Press Relations said destroying illegal wildlife products demonstrates China’s ongoing strong commitment to ending wildlife trafficking, a global challenge with conservation, economic, health and security dimensions that affects all nations.
“China’s action today sends a powerful message to wildlife poachers and traffickers and to the consumers of illegal wildlife products.” – Mr. Rathke
In addition, today’s event is a concrete action that reinforces commitments made at the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogues in 2013 and 2014.
Mr. Rathke pointed out that securing a ban on the commercial sale of ivory is a critical element in our efforts stop the poaching and end wildlife trafficking.
“We look forward to continuing our mutual efforts when we meet during the next Strategic and Economic Dialogue in June.” – Mr. Rathke
US Reveals Approaches to Combat Wildlife Trafficking
Noting that wildlife trafficking has become more organized, more lucrative, more widespread, and more dangerous than ever before, the United States of America revealed its approaches to combat wildlife trafficking.
The black market in wildlife is rivaled in size only by trade in illegal arms and drugs.
Today, ivory sells for nearly $1,000 per pound. Rhino horns are literally worth their weight in gold, $30,000 per pound.
US reports that the world is increasingly seeing wildlife trafficking has serious implications for the security and prosperity of people around the world.
Local populations that depend on wildlife, either for tourism or sustenance, are finding it harder and harder to maintain their livelihoods.
In addition, USAID has already provided more than $24 million over the past five years on a range of programs that combat wildlife crimes.
In 2011, the USAID launched the ARREST program, which is establishing regional centers of expertise and expanding training programs for law enforcement.
In addition, the US is calling for the creation of a global system of regional wildlife enforcement networks to take advantage of those networks that already are operating.
US announced that the State Department is pledging $100,000 to help get this new global system up and running.
Reports say that an immense, increasingly sophisticated illegal trade in wildlife parts conducted by organized crime, coupled with antiquated enforcement methods, are decimating the world’s most beloved species including rhinos, tigers, and elephants on a scale never before seen.
Much of the trade is reportedly driven by wealthy East Asian markets that have a seemingly insatiable appetite for wildlife parts.
Organized crime syndicates using sophisticated smuggling operations have penetrated even previously secure wildlife populations. Some of the elaborate methods include: hidden compartments in shipping containers; rapidly changing of smuggling routes; and the use of e-commerce whose locations are difficult to detect.