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WWF works to sustain the natural world for the benefit of people and wildlife, collaborating with partners from local to global levels in nearly 100 countries.
Illicit trade in elephant ivory has been escalating since 2004 around the world. Experts believe that easily accessible markets selling illegal elephant ivory and Chinese buying power are the leading drivers behind Africa’s elephant poaching crisis. Malaysia has emerged as a new smuggling transit point for shipments.
Massive seizures have taken place in Asia and Africa including:
Call for action to stop illegal ivory trade
WWF and TRAFFIC are calling for better law enforcement along the entire smuggling chain from Africa to Asia. Nearly 17,000 ivory and other elephant product seizures have been reported since 1989 according to the official elephant ivory trade monitoring system called the Elephant Trade Information System (ETIS). ETIS is operated by TRAFFIC for the international wildlife trade treaty called CITES.
The analysis of ETIS data by TRAFFIC shows:
What is WWF doing to help?
WWF is supporting anti-poaching operations in Tanzania and Mozambique to:
TRAFFIC and the China Wildlife Conservation Association are also reaching out to Chinese nationals living in Africa through Chinese language broadcasts with the message of “Stop the illegal trade in ivory.”
NOTE: This story refers specifically to elephant ivory. While many people outside the Arctic often associate ivory with elephants, the term is also used for items that come from other species, and has different stipulations. Learn more