News / Asia

Rise In Poaching Prompts Demands for Ivory Ban

Henry Ridgwell
The global trade in ivory and rhino horn is at the top of the agenda at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, or CITES conference, taking place in Bangkok. The conference is debating imposing bans on all wildlife trade in 19 countries unless they crack down on the poaching, smuggling or sale of illegal ivory.

Poaching for rhino horn and ivory has soared in recent years. Among the participants at the 178-nation CITES conference in Thailand is Will Travers of conservation group Born Free.

"In 2007 there were 13 rhino poached in South Africa. Last year there were 668 and this year, 130 already," he explained.

Related video report by Steve Sandford
Thailand Urged To Curb Illegal Ivory Tradei
X
March 08, 2013 5:24 PM
As animal activists meet in Bangkok at a conference of CITES -- the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species -- many accuse host country Thailand of a lack of action to stem illegal trade in elephant ivory. Steve Sandford reports from the Thai capital
Elephant poaching is also on the increase. Campaigners say a ban on international ivory trading signed in 1989 has been weakened and undermined.

Kenya is one of the countries pushing for a crackdown on the illegal ivory trade in Asia. In the shadow of Mount Kilimanjaro, Steve Njumbi manages conservation programs with the International Fund For Animal Welfare.

"There is a misconception amongst most of those who demand or want to use the ivory, that ivory falls off the animal just like hair does. Message to them: people in China, people in Thailand: an elephant must die violently, very very violently," Njumbi said.

Charlotte Davies of the Environmental Investigation Agency based in London, says 35,000 elephants a year are being killed for their tusks, mostly by organized criminals.

"There's an international ban on the trade in ivory, but there were two one-off legal sales, one in 1999 and one in 2008. And in China for example, there is a domestic legal ivory market. But this isn't very well policed, it's not well enforced, there are loopholes," she noted. "And it means that illegally acquired ivory, that's ivory from poached elephants, can be laundered into that system."

Critics say those one-off sales simply fueled demand in Asia. The Environmental Investigation Agency says its research suggests 90 percent of the ivory traded in China is illegal.

"What EIA is saying at CITES is close down all markets. And stop confusing people who think they can buy ivory legally, when in fact it's posing a threat to the elephants on the ground," said Charlotte Davies.

Britain's Prince William has joined the calls for immediate action against poaching - sending a video message to delegates at the Thailand conference.

"We must do more to combat this serious crime if we are to reverse the current alarming trends," he said. "If not, we can cease to see some populations of these creatures or even an entire species disappear from the wild."

Campaigners warn extinction is a real possibility unless a global agreement banning the trade is signed and enforced.

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs