WWF is urging leaders of these four countries to strengthen legislation aimed at curbing poaching.
WWF and TRAFFIC welcomed today’s historic announcement that China will close down its domestic ivory trade by the end of 2017, signalling an end to the world’s primary legal ivory market and a major boost to international efforts to tackle the elephant poaching crisis in Africa.
The General Office of the State Council of China announced that China will “cease part of ivory processing and sales by 31 March 2017 and cease all ivory processing and sales by 31 December 2017”.
The global fight against the illegal ivory trade received a major boost in South Africa today when CITES countries voted against proposals from Namibia and Zimbabwe to open legal ivory trade from their countries.
The vote comes a day after countries from around the world called for a closure of domestic ivory markets and backed the CITES-led National Ivory Action Plan (NIAP) process.
“The decision to maintain the existing ban on international ivory trade was the right one for elephants,” said Ginette Hemley, WWF Head of Delegation to CITES CoP17.