Hong Kong move to ban ivory trade welcomed

2016-01-14 20:20


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg - A pledge by Hong Kong to ban its ivory trade has been welcomed by conservationists who describe it as a key step toward curbing the slaughter of African elephants.

Hong Kong's leader, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, said in Hong Kong on Wednesday that the semi-autonomous Chinese city will take steps to implement a total ban on the sale of ivory because of concern about poaching that has sharply reduced elephant populations in many parts of Africa.

Hong Kong will take legislative measures as soon as possible to ban the import and export of elephant hunting trophies and explore other legislation as part of its effort to phase out the local ivory trade, Leung said.

Moves to ban the trade by the government in Hong Kong, a major conduit for ivory bound for mainland China, would dovetail with similar pledges by Beijing. Hong Kong's Basic Law, a kind of mini-constitution, grants the city a high degree of control over its own affairs.

In a statement, Peter Knights, executive director of San Francisco-based WildAid, congratulated Hong Kong for what he called "this historic step."

The World Wide Fund for Nature also welcomed the pledge, urging the government to quickly develop a clear timetable for implementation.

China is the world's largest market for illegal ivory, which has been thriving under the cover of legal ivory sales. In September, US President Barack Obama and President Xi Jinping of China agreed to implement nearly complete bans on the ivory trade.

In December, Save the Elephants, a conservation group, announced new research showing the price of illegal raw ivory in China had dropped by almost half in the previous 18 months. It attributed the drop to Chinese moves to end the trade, growing awareness in China about the link between buying ivory and the slaughter of elephants, and the Chinese economic slowdown.

The research authors, Esmond Bradley Martin and Lucy Vigne, also produced a report last year that said more than 90% of ivory objects in Hong Kong, including rings, pendants and small figurines, are bought by mainland Chinese.

Read more on:    wwf  |  china  |  hong kong  |  ivory

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.