China is preparing to bring a ban on their domestic ivory trade, and will announce when it will close its legal ivory carving factories. The market for legal and illegal ivory had previously mentioned it would shut down sales, but it did not have a set timeline. Conservationalists and wildlife advocates were eager in their fight to terminate elephant poaching, and pushed China to carry out its claim.
Ivory carving is an “intangible cultural heritage” in China. However, Wei Ji, an independent wildlife researcher who does consulting work for China’s largeset environmental NGO, states: “There is not much resistance from the Chinese public.” However, Isabel Hilton, founder of the chinadialogue site, responds: “China often resists legislation for as long as possible, then acts when the diplomatic costs become too high.”
We need to view the ivory exports from another perspective. Europe and the U.S. are also exporters and recipients of the tusks, respectively. If China completely terminates its legal ivory carving factories, what trends will we see in markets and steps towards elephant conservation?
Read more about the ivory market in China, Europe and the U.S. here.