Tag Archives: ivory

Tanzania ports exploited by traffickers

The vulnerabilities in maritime transportation and customs are being exploited by criminal traffickers in African sea ports. Container shipping facilitates the movement of wildlife goods, and maritime companies and their assets, wittingly or unwittingly complicit in wildlife trafficking, face legal, financial and reputation risks, according tot the Maritime Executive.

That’s the key message from a report into wildlife trafficking through Tanzania‘s ports which has been published ahead of a workshop organized in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, by TRAFFIC, UNDP and UNODC.

The report highlights wildlife trafficking through Dar of Salaam and Zanzibar. Whilst there have been no reported seizures linked to the ports since August 2015, there have been seizures of illicit wildlife products in the region of Dar es Salaam in recent years.

Tanzania is a biodiversity hotspot with one of Africa’s most significant elephant populations which have faced unprecedented levels of poaching recently. Tanzania, alongside neighboring countries, Kenya and Uganda have been implicated in this trade for the last decade, linked as source and exporters of ivory as well as transit countries for consignments gathered from elsewhere.

Along with ivory, Tanzanian’s ports have been used to move illegal products such as wildlife, timber, narcotics, arms and precious minerals. Source nations include Kenya, Malaysia, UAE, Qatar, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Philippines and Taiwan, with illegal products shipped to China, Hong Kong and Vietnam.

Tanzania elephant & rhino populations recover

Tanzania presidency reported elephant and rhino populations have begun to recover after a government crackdown dismantled organized criminal networks involved in industrial-scale poaching and transporting the ivory to China.

A influential Chinese businesswoman running a poaching network on industrial scale, dubbed the “Ivory Queen” was sentenced to 15 years in prison by a Tanzanian court in February for smuggling the tusks of more than 350 elephants, weighing nearly 2 tonnes, to Asian countries. Yang Feng Glan had been charged in 2015 along with two Tanzanian citizens with smuggling 860 pieces of ivory between 2000 and 2004 worth $5.6 million.

“As a result of the work of a special task force launched in 2016 to fight wildlife poaching, elephant populations have increased from 43,330 in 2014 to over 60,000 presently,” the presidency said in a statement this week, underlining the success of the case as a government victory over illicit ivory traffic.

The number of rhinos, an endangered species, had increased from just 15 to 167 over the past four years, the report says.

 

 

Mozambique ivory seized in Cambodia

Cambodian customs have seized more than three tons of elephant tusks from Mozambique following a notice from the US Embassy. The demand for ivory from China and Vietnam is a driving factor in Cambodia’s illegal wildlife trade.

The elephant tusks were hidden among marble in a container that was abandoned,” Sun Chhay, director of the Customs and Excise Office at the Phnom Penh Autonomous Port, told the AFP news agency.

The official said the ivory was sent from the southern African nation of Mozambique and it arrived in Cambodia last year. He also said the owner of the shipment did not show up to collect the cargo.

Officials said the tusks were discovered after a tip-off from the US Embassy in Phnom Penh.

It was unclear whether the smuggled ivory was destined for markets other than Cambodia.

 

 

 

Petition to Zuckerberg to ban ivory trade on Facebook

As many other goods ivory trade moved online, and in many cases it is sold via Facebook. The animal defenders have launched a petition addressed to the Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg  to ban ivory trade from social media.

Did you know that thousands of Facebook posts promote the sale of elephant ivory, rhino horns, tiger teeth, and other endangered species’ parts? The easy trade of wildlife body parts on Facebook is fueling the brutal poaching industry, encouraging hunters to keep slaughtering Earth’s most vulnerable animals in horrifically brutal ways.

“Animals endure excruciating deaths at the hands of poachers. Elephants, for example, are attacked with poison arrows, and take an agonizing 15 to 20 minutes to die after being hit. Once the elephant is dead, the poachers hack off their tusks. Because the rest of the elephant is “worthless” to them, the poachers often use battery acid to eat away the elephants’ flesh when they are done.

“Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has admitted that more could be done to stop wildlife traffickers from using the network for their sales, but fails to see the urgency, stating they will solve the problem “over time.”

“Facebook is contributing directly to the rapid extinction of some of the world’s most highly threatened species, and undermining international trade laws designed to preserve animals on the brink of disappearing forever.

“Sign this petition to urge Mark Zuckerberg to treat this dire situation with the weight it deserves, and take swift, effective action to stop all wildlife trade on Facebook.”

Link to the Petition here:

https://ladyfreethinker.org/sign-facebook-stop-selling-poached-animal-parts/

 

MEPs demand to stop ivory trade

Despite the international ban on ivory trade imposed by CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) in 1989, global demand for ivory is fueling elephant poaching. Any legal domestic and international market for ivory stimulates the demand and allows the laundering of illegal ivory. While the EU has been a leader in supporting international initiatives to fight illegal ivory trade, it is clearly facing difficulties to close its own domestic ivory market.

According to EU regulations, the sale of ivory goods is only allowed for antique ivory, acquired before March 1947. But new ivory pieces are being treated to look antique and permits are forged to launder illegal ivory from poaching. Moreover, the EU Member States are used as transit countries to smuggle illegal ivory from Africa to Asia.

Ivory trade is a global phenomenon and the failure from the EU to prevent illegal trafficking would hamper the international effort to put an end to the poaching of elephants and to its ecological, economic and societal consequences. The European Parliament has adopted three Resolutions  calling on all EU Member States to introduce a full ivory trade moratorium. In March 2018, more than 30 African countries called on the EU to shut down its ivory market, stressing that the antique ivory exception is used to smuggle newer ivory to Asian markets and feed global demand.

The Intergroup on the Welfare and Conservation of Animals met on Thursday 31 May to discuss ivory trade in the European Union. The poaching of elephants and trade of their ivory threaten the very existence  of the species. The European Commission will announce in July its response to a recent consultation on ivory trade as part of its review on the implementation of the EU Action Plan Against Wildlife Trafficking.

The Intergroup meeting will be chaired by Jacqueline Foster MEP (ECR – United Kingdom), Vice-President of the Intergroup, who has extensively worked on the issue of wildlife trafficking during this parliamentary term.

Grace Mugabe faces ivory smuggling charges

The former First lady of Zimbabwe, Grace Mugabe, is suspected of smuggling ivory worth millions of dollars.

Tinashe Farawo, speaking for Zimbabwe‘s Parks and Wildlife Management Authority, said “we opened our investigations and realized that former first lady Grace Mugabe was illegally dealing in ivory.”

Grace Mugabe, the spouse of former President Robert Mugabe, faced accusations on raids of the country’s ivory stockpiles during her period at power as First lady and sending the pieces as gifts to high-profile personalities in the Middle East and Asia.

Ms.Mugabe defends her actions, describing smuggled ivory items as ‘diplomatic gifts’.

UK to ban ivory items

The sale and export of almost all ivory items would be banned in the UK under plans set out by the government.

Environment Secretary Michael Gove has announced a consultation to end the trade in ivory of all ages – previous attempts at a ban would have excluded antique ivory produced before 1947.

The government says there will be some exemptions, for musical instruments and items of cultural importance.

Conservation groups have given a guarded welcome to the plan.