World Wildlife Fund (WWF) issued the following statement from Ginette Hemley, Senior Vice President of Wildlife Conservation, in reaction to China’s announcement that it will phase out its domestic ivory market:
“It’s very encouraging to see the world’s largest consumer of ivory showing leadership at a time when the illegal ivory trade is leading to unprecedented elephant poaching across Africa. The destruction of ivory signals that wildlife crime will not be tolerated, and China’s significant announcement that it will phase out its own ivory market is a very positive signal for elephant conservation.
“But more leadership is needed, not only from China but also from the US.
“China should make good on its intentions to close its domestic ivory market by setting in place a firm plan and timeline, one that does not spur an even greater rush to launder ivory through the legal system before it closes. At the same time, the US continues to drag its feet on enacting long-overdue regulations to better control its own sizeable ivory market.
“China, the US, and other major ivory consuming countries hold the key to saving Africa’s elephants. We therefore urge the strongest possible measures from these governments to prevent an unthinkable ending for one of the planet’s most iconic species.”