China’s ivory ban has led to major decline in the trade, conservation group says

World Today

Photo: CFP

The price of ivory products in China has plummeted according to Kenya-based conservation organization Save the Elephants on Monday.

The Kenya-based conservation group said the price of raw ivory in China is now nearly half of last year’s price of $2,100 per kilogram to $1,100 per kilogram.

“The Chinese government’s strong statements have been a major driver in the drop in price,” the organization said in a report. “The news gives cautious hope that the unsustainable killing of Africa’s elephants, driven by demand for their tusks, may eventually be reduced.”

In October China imposed a one-year ban on imports of ivory acquired during trophy hunting in Africa following announcements in September when China and the United States announced that they would work together to enact “nearly complete bans” on the import and export of ivory.

Earlier this year, China’s State Forestry Administration also cut back on the number of licenses issued to ivory factories and retail outlets.

There have also been attempts to win over “hearts and minds”. Campaigns have been launched to raise awareness among Chinese consumers on the impact of the ivory trade. Chinese celebrities have fronted advertising campaigns, and in October The U.K.’s Prince William appealed to Chinese people to boycott ivory.

According to campaigners, the bans and the awareness campaigns have led to a decline in ivory demand, reflected in the plummeting price of ivory products in China.

“The fall in the price of ivory gives us hope, but with numbers of elephants still being killed in Africa we’re a long way from celebrating yet,” Save the Elephants Founder Iain Douglas-Hamilton said.

“If this trend continues and demand for ivory in China collapses, the Chinese government will be seen to have played a dramatic and decisive leading role in ending the worst crisis for elephants on record.”

Story by CCTV News