02-01-2018 01:00 PM | Lathika Saju | My Indian Dream
China is believed to be world’s largest consumer of ivory
China’s agreement with the US for a near complete ivory ban came into force on 31st December. China, the world’s largest consumer of ivory will now stop giving licenses to ivory carving factories and retailers. Its government sanctioned ivory trade is coming to a close.
This spells good news for animal activists and environment conservationists as it will help reduce poaching of African elephants for their tusks. Under the ban, buying and selling of all but a limited number of antiques and a few other items will be prohibited.
Earlier, in China ivory trade was legal and this domestic market provided the opportunity for traffickers to slip illegally obtained ivory into China’s legal supply. This led to dramatic increase in elephant poaching.
It was important to educate the people and make them aware that elephants have to be killed for their ivory. As in Chinese, ivory is xiangya, meaning “elephant tooth,” 70% people believe erroneously that ivory can be taken from an elephant without inflicting harm. By making people sensitive about the issue, ivory’s draw as the ultimate status symbol can be overcome.
China’s State Forestry Administration, the agency in charge of enforcing the new ban is making sure that the country’s citizens are aware of the law. It is working with many environmental organizations and NGOs and with the help of posters, videos, and articles spread across traditional and social media outlets, they have been telling people to protect endangered elephants by respecting the law and saying “no to ivory.”