New data has been released by Elephant Trade Information System (ETIS) that shows ivory trafficking in 2015 reached historic levels seen earlier in the decade.
In response, WWF issued the following statement from Ginette Hemley, senior vice president of wildlife conservation and head of delegation to the 17th Conference of Parties of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora (CITES).
“The information is extremely worrying. It’s increasingly clear that despite unprecedented global calls to end elephant poaching, international crime syndicates are still shipping vast amounts of ivory out of Africa.
“Saving elephants will require a comprehensive approach. Countries must focus on bringing down the trafficking kingpins, and key domestic ivory markets must be closed to make it harder for criminals to launder their stocks. Further, consumer demand for ivory must be quashed if there’s ever a hope of ending the poaching and trafficking.
“With world governments meeting this weekend in South Africa to address wildlife trade, this new information puts added spotlight on those countries most implicated in ivory trafficking. Those who don’t act to end their role in the trade must be held accountable.”