According to a survey carried out by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) 90% of Europeans are not interested in buying ivory products and 65% is in favour of banning the trade within the European Union (EU).
The global online trade, including in wildlife, is growing rapidly, allowing small businesses to prosper and reach global audiences, while masking increasing numbers of illegal transactions.
Community voices missing from policy discussions on wildlife management
The relationship between conflict and terrorism and ivory trafficking is often poorly understood. This article examines some of the realties underpinning this relationship, and calls for greater cross-sector cooperation in responses to ivory trafficking.
In 2017, China closed around 170 ivory shops and imposed a total ban on producing and selling ivory products, (effective from 1st January 2018).
On 21 March 2018, 44 African Union (AU) member states signed the Agreement Establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) along with three protocols covering trade in goods, trade in services and dispute settlement. The launch of the AfCFTA is a major milestone in Africa’s integration process and a flagship project under the AU’s Agenda 2063, Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want, which sets out the priority areas for Africa’s development over the next fifty years.
Ivory – tactile, beautiful and emotive. The use of ivory as an artistic and cultural medium divides opinions like no other. While for some ivory conjures images of ancient exquisitely carved puzzle balls and Byzantine pyxis, others see slaughter, smuggling and organised crime. Statistics show that between 1979 and 1989, the number of African elephants fell from approximately 1.2 million to 600,000.
In 2014, the President of the United States Barack Obama signed the National Strategy for Combating Illegal Wildlife Trafficking (IWT). This was followed in 2016 with the Eliminate, Neutralize, and Disrupt Wildlife Trafficking (END) Act. Similarly, the UK announced a Commitment to Action on the Illegal Wildlife Trade in 2014, pledging £10 million to support efforts to combat IWT. And, at the end of 2017, the International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime (ICCWC)  announced an additional $20 million for similar purposes.
Thirty-two African states recently called on the EU to fully ban its ivory trade. The US and China fully outlawed it in 2016 and 2017 respectively, with China currently taking the normative lead and setting the agenda. The EU lags behind, still allowing partial trade while also hosting the world’s largest hub for ivory smuggling.