In response to the joint announcement from China and the U.S. on their commitment to enact nearly complete ivory trade bans in each country, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) issued the following statement from Ginette Hemley, senior vice president of wildlife conservation:
“The agreement by these two superpowers to collaborate on curbing ivory trade and addressing wildlife crime could be globally significant – if it is implemented with urgent and time-bound measures by both countries. In particular, the commitment to take timely steps to halt domestic commercial trade in ivory is critical.
“China and the U.S. are two of the world's largest consumer markets for ivory and we commend efforts to halt the poaching of at least 30,000 elephants a year for the illegal ivory trade. Now, these leaders must fulfill their intentions with an actionable plan and clear timeline to build on this resolution. We welcome the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's current proposal to restrict the commercial sales of ivory within the U.S. and look forward to its swift implementation.
“WWF and TRAFFIC stand ready to help implement this commitment through ivory market monitoring, demand reduction and consumer outreach, and supporting law enforcement efforts to ensure success.”