China Takes Action
Stop Ivory and the EPI member States have applauded China’s historic move to close its domestic ivory market, acting on its commitment to do so by the end of 2017.
Since the legal sale of over 60 tonnes of ivory from four African countries to China in 2008, the country’s ivory industry has rapidly expanded to become the world’s largest consumer ivory market. This legal trade in ivory threatens the future of Africa’s elephants by perpetuating demand and serving as a cover for illegal trade.
The closure of China’s ivory market, as the foremost destination for ivory from innumerable poached elephants, is perhaps the biggest step towards our goal of making ivory an unacceptable commodity to date. China must now prioritise its enforcement efforts, so that Chinese consumers do not turn to neighbouring countries to illegally purchase ivory instead. The momentum from this development lends further urgency to our work to close existing domestic ivory markets elsewhere as soon as possible – work which continues in earnest.