According to a new report from the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the Chinese have “intended to keep ivory in the market to help boost their economies, even though ivory has become a political liability in China, especially for China’s political leaders”.
“For years, Chinese officials have repeatedly said that they want to stop the ivory trade in their country, and they are now starting to act, even if it’s not in the right way,” said Tessa Gourlay, senior conservation officer at IUCN.
“But the Chinese government continues to deny this.”
Mr Gourland said ivory poaching and illegal trade was still going on in China and in South Africa.
“We are seeing a clear increase in poaching and ivory trafficking in South and Central Africa,” he said.
“In Zimbabwe, poaching is up almost 80 per cent in the last five years.
In South Africa, the problem is growing.
There is no sign of any decrease.”
While Mr Gourlame said China’s ivory stocks were not in danger, the IUCn report also highlighted how “Chinese officials continue to ignore evidence of the illegal and dangerous trade in ivory”.
“There are still areas in China where the Chinese are using ivory to make cosmetics,” Mr Gurlay said.
“This is a form of illegal ivory trade.”
He said the ICAN was concerned about the fact that there were only a handful of protected areas in South East Asia, but China’s actions were causing significant problems for people in the region.
“There is no clear evidence that China is actively trying to prevent illegal ivory, but this does not mean they are not trying,” he told the ABC.
“The fact that the Chinese want to protect the ivory market but are failing to act shows that the situation is far from resolved.”
The IUCng also called for China to urgently reduce the use of ivory, and to “provide support to the countrys wildlife conservation programme”.
“It is important to ensure that the use and sale of ivory is not driven by greed and political agendas,” Mr O’Connor said.
Topics:human-interest,government-and-politics,global-politics-and_governance,human-trafficking,environment,human,animal-science,animal,animalia,asiaFirst posted May 09, 2019 06:56:46Contact Emily WhiteMore stories from New South Wales