The Chinese government decides to close its domestic ivory market. As a first step, on 31 March 2017 at the latest, approved ivory processing workshops will no longer have the right to engage in this activity. Secondly, by December 31, 2017, approved retail ivory stores will have to abandon this market. These workshops and stores were supplied with “legal” ivory from some Southern African countries and ivory poached across the African continent.
The reconversion of workshops and stores will be assisted.
The fight against raw and carved ivories smuggling and clandestine ivory workshops will be strengthened.
Consumer information will be increased to “create a propitious environment for the protection of elephants, other wild fauna and flora” according to the Chinese government’s announcement.
“For cultural reasons”, the only authorised commercial activity involving ivory will be the auction of certified antiques.
Robin des Bois welcomes this historical decision of the main ivory consuming country and hopes that Japan and all European countries will adopt similar measures, essential to slow down and ultimately eradicate elephant poaching in Africa and Asia. It will also be vital to avoid the transfer of the ivory market to other materials from endangered species.