For many years there has been a huge demand for ivory by China’s elite and that demand has made the ivory trade extremely lucrative. Unfortunately, though, the demand for ivory is causing the African Elephants to be slaughtered by the tens of thousands each year for their tusks.
Many celebrities out of concern for the African Elephants have signed an open letter to China's President Xi Jinping to ban China’s trade in ivory. Celebrities like, funnyman Ricky Gervais, nature TV broadcaster Sir David Attenborough and actress Joanna Lumley have also signed the letter. The open letter asks China's leader to outlaw the buying and selling of ivory in a bid to save the African Elephants from extinction.
Brittan’s royal Prince William is set to visit China this month, and he is expected to discuss the wildlife trade with China’s leaders during his trip.
In response to this growing criticism of the Chinese demand for ivory, China’s State Forestry Administration has announced a one-year ban on the import of ivory carvings. The ban will remain in place until February 26, 2016.
The Chinese government is well aware that the continued demand for ivory has made China the world’s largest market for the ivory trade. The insane demand has also decimated the African Elephant population, with one Elephant being killed every 15 minutes for their tusks.
China’s temporary ban on the import of ivory carvings seems to be a step in the right direction. However, it’s nothing more than “window dressing” that fails to address the larger problems of the ivory trade. A total and permanent ban on all ivory imports to China would be more appropriate and it would certainly lead to many Elephants being saved from illegal poaching.
I like many others throughout the world would hate to see the African Elephants being driven out of existence by nothing more than sheer greed.
The cruel and irresponsible demand for ivory is not just rooted in China it has become a serious global issue. If all countries were to ban Ivory from crossing their boarders the Elephants would have a better chance at survival. That would certainly be a good thing not just for the Elephants but for our planet as a whole.
- Always with love from Suzhou, China
Thomas F O’Neill
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