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Burning ivory in Kenya

(8 Posts)
thatbags Fri 29-Apr-16 07:01:53

This article argues that the burning of 105 metric tonnes of ivory in Kenya tomorrow will not have the intended effect of reducing ivory poaching (i.e. killing elephants) given that ivory stockpiles in east Asia amount to some 1,500 metric tonnes.

Conversely, contend that burning ivory is a useful thing to do. I quote from their mission statement: "We believe that only by burning ivory stockpiles worldwide can it be insured that illegal ivory is not laundered into the system, fuelling the continued slaughter of elephants across their range".

What do gransnetters think?

NanaandGrampy Fri 29-Apr-16 08:07:06

Having had the absolute privilege of seeing these amazing creatures in their natural environment I would say anything no matter how small in the big picture that can be done to stop the illegal poaching for ivory is a good thing.

It was a pivotal moment for me to be in an open top vehicle as a hear of these magnificent animals walked slowly past totally ignoring me , no sound save for elephant feet and bird song.

I cannot understand how anyone would want to purchase an ivory trinket rather than see these animals in 50 or 100 years still roaming the wild.

Grannyknot Fri 29-Apr-16 09:11:51

Burning or not burning stockpiles of ivory will have no effect whatsoever. Poaching (of rhino horn as well as ivory) is controlled by international organised crime syndicates:

Although above report is from 2014, nothing has changed, if anything it has got worse in Southern Africa.

Elegran Fri 29-Apr-16 10:11:06

It is estimated that up to 50,000 African elephants are lost to poaching each year with fewer than 470,000 remaining. That’s one-tenth of the population per year. They are mostly shipped out from large ports (Mombasa is one) but to control the actual poaching, the place of origin of the ivory was needed.

In 2013 delegates of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) unanimously passed a decision, urging all seizing countries to turn over samples from their large seizures for origin analysis within 90 days of the seizure.

Since then, the Center for Conservation Biology in Washington has received samples of 28 large tusk seizures that occurred between 1996 and 2014, and analysed them to see where the poaching centres are, so that efforts can be concentrated there.

How they first mapped the genetic spread distribution of elephants by finding dung samples, and then matched the ivory samples to areas, is at The map showing the main poaching areas is at

jinglbellsfrocks Fri 29-Apr-16 10:16:12

It's a no brainer. Burn the Ivory.

Elegran Fri 29-Apr-16 10:20:36

While there is still a supply of new ivory to dip into, they will continue to poach it until there are no elephants left. There is an argument that burning ALL ivory means that is rarer and so more valuable, thus it is more profitable to poach it. round and round in circles.

I really don't know whether it is a good answer or not.

jinglbellsfrocks Fri 29-Apr-16 10:24:00

There should be a complete ban on any new ivory products coming onto the market. Isn't there one already? Or is it allowed to use ivory from elephants that have died naturally?

Elegran Fri 29-Apr-16 10:40:31

Only allowed if you can prove that they died before 1947, illegal for anything after that - and stuff can be carbon-dated to prove age.

Trouble is, the biggest market for ivory is in the Far East, and they are not as fussy out there. If they can ship it out to China, it will be sold on there.

See on this link (dating ivory bit is at Box 5.14) Wildlife crime: a guide to the use of forensic and specialist techniques

jings - you should have been up here in Edinburgh on April 15.