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CRI听力:China's ban on ivory trade to come into effect

Source: CRI    2017-12-31  我要投稿   论坛   Favorite  

A major step toward reducing elephant poaching is set to begin tomorrow here in China, with a new ban on ivory trading coming into effect.

Under the new regulations, it’s now set to become illegal to process or sell ivory or ivory products in China.

CRI's Guan Chao has more.

The move is a complete prohibition of commercial processing and trading of ivory in both the domestic market and abroad.

Zhou Fei with the World Wide Fund for Nature in China, says the new regulations are a major step forward in the country.

"Total ban means both the new ivory, the so-called new ivory and also the old ivory. Why is it a total ban in China's case, because in the past we have both legal and illegal ivory in the market. So this legal ivory help to stimulate demand in market, and then legal ivory also provide some cover to illegal trade. So now this total ban is in place. A total ivory ban is never an ideal solution, but this is the last result to save African elephant."

The ultimate goal is to help end the poaching of African elephants and reverse the declining population of the species.

Around 30-thousand elephants are killed every year in Africa, putting the animal on the path toward eventual extinction the past few years.

Despite the broad-based numbers, there have been signs of improvement.

Kenya saw the official number of elephant deaths drop from 390 in 2013 to 46 last year.

Following a series of restrictions brought in last year connected to the ivory trade, China saw an 80-percent decline illegal ivory entering the country, as well as a 65-percent decline in raw ivory prices.

Huang Hongxiang is a leading proponent of the elimination of the ivory trade in China.

He produced a documentary titled "The Ivory Game," and is the founder of the non-governmental organization "China House."

"Because we have been working with many African wildlife conservation NGOs and they are all excited when they know China is going to have this ban. They don't expect all the provinces to stop immediately, but they see this as a very positive sign."

He says while China has had its issues with the ivory trade, he suggests the continued criticism is somewhat unwarranted.

"On one hand China is one of the biggest market for ivory and many other illegal wildlife products, but at the same time in China, the people who are actually involved in this kind of illegal trade is only an extremely small percentage of Chines people. And there are Chinese people who like wildlife as well. There are Chinese people who are fighting hard for wildlife protection as well. So if you see China as part of the problem, then you should be more reasonable for you to understand China more and try to engage China. Blaming China won't be anything help at all."

Since 2012, China has made building an "ecological civilization" a development priority.

In late 2015, Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged alongside former U.S. President Barack Obama to address the wildlife conservation and illegal hunting and the smuggling of wildlife products.

The commitment has been making headway, with data from China's General Administration of Customs recording hundreds of criminal cases involving wildlife trafficking being recorded through this past year.

For CRI, I'm Guan Chao.


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