Below is EarthAction’s monthly current Action Alert on global environment, peace, and justice issues. This one is most important, and timely action is needed.
Despite the international ban on the trade of Elephant Ivory in 1989, it is estimated that every year 38,000 elephants are killed for ivory sales on the black market. Poachers sell raw ivory for around $20 per pound. Most of this ivory eventually makes its way to China, where it is resold at $700 per pound‹or more.
This means that a single tusk from a full-grown bull elephant can fetch upwards of $50,000 on the black market. The poaching of elephants for their ivory tusks requires the death of some of the most beautiful and endangered animals on our planet. Unless action is taken soon, many of the gains made in recent decades to protect the great elephants of Africa may be undone.
In 1989 elephants were initially listed as an Appendix 1 species by CITES (the Convention on International Trade In Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna), banning any and all trade of ivory. In 1997 they were downgraded to an Appendix 2 species, allowing the trade of ivory with regulation. Many nations do not have the capacity to strictly monitor the flow of ivory through their borders, nor are measures in place to effectively monitor the global ivory trade. Disguising illegal ivory as a legal product requires only an artificial aging process.