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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

WWF lauds China’s action of ending ivory trade 

GENEVA (Xinhua) -- The world’s leading conservation organization World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has applauded China’s landmark ban on ivory sales.

Starting from Sunday, it will be illegal to process or sell ivory and its products in China.

WWF said in a statement that with the doors to the ivory trade closing in China, the world starts 2018 “a step closer to a land free of the slaughter of endangered animals”.

“China’s actions, more than those of any other country, can reverse the trend of elephant poaching and illegal ivory trafficking, and have a significant impact on the future survival of African elephants,” it said.

A recent WWF survey shows that the ban has widespread support from a strong majority of consumers surveyed and that it is likely to substantially reduce ivory purchase.

Dr. Fred Kwame Kumah, Director of WWF Regional Office for Africa, commented that “China has shown great leadership on this urgent issue”.

“This ban means we start 2018 a step closer to a world where the demand for ivory is extinct not elephants,” Kumah said.

China’s State Forestry Administration has said that by honoring its commitment to ending commercial processing and sales of ivory by the end of 2017, China has sent a “new year gift to the elephant”.

Chinese government figures show that the move will affect 34 processing enterprises and 143 designated trading venues, with all of them to close, in the world’s once largest ivory market.

John E. Scanlon, Secretary General of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), also praised China’s latest move and commented that “there is certainly reason for hope”.

“The world still needs to do more to tackle both supply and demand to put an end to the poaching of elephant and trafficking in ivory,” he said.

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Uganda’s wildlife authority hails China’s ban on ivory trade

KAMPALA (Xinhua) -- Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) on Tuesday lauded China’s ban on ivory trade as a major milestone step.

UWA Executive Director Andrew Seguya told Xinhua that China’s decision will go a long way in the conservation and protection of the African elephants.

“We are very grateful that the Chinese government has found in its heart to stop trading in this commodity,” said Seguya.

“It gives us a lot of hope for elephants of Uganda, elephants of Africa and elephants of the world. So we congratulate the Chinese government for that decision,” he said.

The doors to the ivory trade in China closed on Dec. 31, 2017, as it became illegal to process or sell ivory and its products in China.

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the population of African elephants declined by 111,000 over the past 10 years. The overall trends in the poaching of African elephants show a decline from the 2011 peak, but are still at levels too high when viewed continent-wide.

China’s State Forestry Administration has said that by honoring its commitment to ending commercial processing and sales of ivory by the end of 2017, China has sent a “new year gift to the elephant”.

Chinese government figures show that the move will affect 34 processing enterprises and 143 designated trading venues, with all of them to close, in the world’s once largest ivory market.

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Botswana hails China’s ivory trade ban

GABORONE (Xinhua) -- Wildlife authorities and experts in Botswana on Thursday hailed an ivory trade ban in China as a vital step to reducing the slaughter of the endangered animals.

In a telephone interview with Xinhua, Botswana’s Environment, Natural Resources Conversation and Tourism Minister Tshekedi Khama said the move offers hope for the future of elephants in Botswana and the better part of Africa.

China closed doors to the ivory trade on Dec. 31, 2017, as it became illegal to trade in ivory and its products in the world’s most populace nation.

China has taken the eradication of ivory trade upon herself and public awareness campaigns featuring celebrities have helped boost awareness of the bloody cost of ivory.

According to Khama, it is estimated that 30,000 elephants are killed by poachers in Africa every year with Botswana bearing the brunt since her economy is hinged on tourism.

He said tourism is an increasingly important industry in Botswana, accounting for almost 12 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

“It (ivory trade ban) is the greatest single step toward reducing elephant poaching and ensuring that our tourism increases the revenue to the government coffers,” said Khama.

Khama hailed China for a full closure of the door on ivory trade.

Kenneth Sechele, a board member with Elephants Scents - a non-governmental organization responsible for protecting elephants from extinction - said the ban on all ivory sales has already led to an 80 percent decline in seizures of illegal ivory entering China.

“A 65 percent decline in raw ivory prices has also been realized in China. This shows that China had taken a decision that qualifies to be a historic one world over,” he said. 

Sechele said the ban on imports of African ivory carvings will boost the fight against wildlife crimes in Botswana and the region.

“The move by the Chinese government is a strategic decision that will rejuvenate the fight against poaching in the country and the region. China has inspired governments and individuals campaigning for the stemming of wildlife crimes,” Sechele told Xinhua in a telephone interview.

Executive Director of Our Elephants, Our Pride, a non-governmental organization in Botswana, Monwametsi Mothibi, praised China’s ban on ivory trade as a revolutionary stride.  

Mothibi said his organization is very grateful that the Chinese government has found in its heart to stop trading in this commodity.

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the population of African elephants declined by 111,000 over the past 10 years.

The overall trends in the poaching of African elephants show a decline from the 2011 peak, but are still at levels too high when viewed continent-wide. 

 

             

 

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