Campaign vs Ivory Trade Intensified

Article excerpt

MANILA, Philippines - International conservation group World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has renewed its call for strengthened law enforcement on elephant poaching and crackdown of unregulated illegal ivory markets worldwide.The group asked the international community to embrace a broader challenge and step up their efforts to stamp out illegal and poorly regulated domestic ivory markets, in both Asia and Africa.Ivory trade is banned under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES) due to the dwindling number of elephant species in African countries.Elephant tusks are known for its ivory that is used to make figurines, bangles, and jewelry.In May 2009, Philippine authorities confiscated at the Manila port 1,701 kilograms of elephant by-products valued at P100 million.WWF noted that while some populations of elephants in southern and eastern Africa are stable or recovering, forest elephants in Central Africa are in grave danger from poaching, fuelled by demand for illegal ivory.According to a recent report on trade in elephant ivory submitted to the CITES, "the situation facing elephants in Central Africa appears to be grave and is probably worsening."The report also warned that elephants are "in crisis" in that region."Alarmingly, poaching of African elephants and illegal trade in their ivory have been steadily increasing in recent years," said WWF International's African Elephant Coordinator Lamine Sebogo. …