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

Australia Knights Prince Philip, Sparking National Outrage

Abbott's surprise reintroduction of knights and dames in the country's honors system last year drew criticism that he was out of touch with national sentiment More

SAG Award Boosts 'Birdman' Oscar Hopes

Individual acting Oscars appear to be sewn up: SAG awards went to artists who won Golden Globes: Julianne Moore, Eddie Redmayne, Patricia Arquette, J.K. Simmons More

Katy Perry Lights Way for Super Bowl's Girl Power Moment

Pop star's selection to headline US football championship's halftime show extends NFL's trend of selecting artists who appeal to younger viewers 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.
Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sidesi
X
June Soh
January 23, 2015 10:03 PM
The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.
Video

Video US Marching Bands Grow Into a Show of Their Own

The 2014 Super Bowl halftime show was the most-watched in history - attracting an estimated 115 million viewers. That event featured pop star Bruno Mars. But the halftime show tradition started with marching bands, which still dominate the entertainment at U.S. high school and college American football games. But as Enming Liu reports in this story narrated by Adrianna Zhang, marching bands have grown into a show of their own.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid