Saturday, December 31, 2016

China's next cultural revolution: No more ivory poaching

In an amazing cultural revolution, China Bans Its Ivory Trade, Moving Against Elephant Poaching. The story is from the New York Times.

This, my friends, is a very BFD.

China announced on Friday that it was banning all commerce in ivory by the end of 2017, a move that would shut down the world’s largest ivory market and could deal a critical blow to the practice of elephant poaching in Africa.

The decision by China follows years of growing international and domestic pressure and gives wildlife protection advocates hope that the threatened extinction of certain elephant populations in Africa can be averted.

“China’s announcement is a game changer for elephant conservation,” Carter Roberts, the president and chief executive of the World Wildlife Fund, said in a written statement. “With the United States also ending its domestic ivory trade earlier this year, two of the largest ivory markets have taken action that will reverberate around the world.”

According to some estimates, more than 100,000 elephants have been wiped out in Africa over the past 10 years in a ruthless scramble for ivory driven by Chinese demand. Some Chinese investors call ivory “white gold,” while carvers and collectors call it the “organic gemstone.”

Elly Pepper, a wildlife advocate with the Natural Resources Defense Council, which is based in New York, wrote that China’s announcement “may be the biggest sign of hope for elephants since the current poaching crisis began.”

Wildlife advocates have said for years that the most important step in putting poachers out of business would be shutting down the ivory industry in China.

I call it greed. Humans are an invasive species. What we don’t eat, we burn or kill. (Doubt that? See the book The Sixth Extinction.)

Elephants, the real creatures, not the GOF kind, are majestic creatures. In 2014 Mr. and Mrs. Scriber witnessed a charging elephant scare two lions off their kill. Sorry - the elephants are the true kings of the jungle. This last September we filmed infant elephants imitating their elders at a water hole and a group of young males engaged in a bout of play. See the video clips at my other blog site, www.billmaki.com.

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