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

    Native Americans Ask: What About Our Water Supply?

    They say they have been facing a dangerous water contaminant for decades - uranium – but the problem has received far less attention than water contamination by lead in Flint, Michigan

    Pakistan's President Urges Nation Not to Celebrate Valentine's Day

    Mamnoon Hussain criticizes Valentine's Day, which falls on Sunday this year, as a Western import that threatens to undermine the Islamic values of Pakistan

    Mother of IS Supporter: Son Was Peaceful, 'Role Model'

    Somali-American Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State militants

    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.
    Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortagei
    X
    February 12, 2016 7:31 PM
    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.