Of Elephants and Ivory

Apparently, two African nations are trying to lift the ban on ivory trading and to counter this (and protect the elephants), many other African nations, led by Kenya wants to set a twenty year moratorium on the sale of ivory stocks. The EU has voted against the moratorium but the strangest thing is hearing the  Tories  criticise the Labour government for failing to support the moratorium stance and it’s strange in a hypocritical way given that the Tories vehemently oppose the British fox-hunting ban and, should they gain power this year, would have it lifted.

As for the ivory issue itself, the argument is, to paraphrase Avaaz, that if the stockpiles were allowed to be sold and ivory carving/engraving became popular again it would send a signal to the criminal elements that international protection is weakening and it will be open season on elephants.  It’s a valid argument.

At face value I can kind of empathise with the counter-argument that the old, stock-piled ivory is being left unused and as a recycling freak I would surely want to see it utilised.  And also, what’s so wrong about using ivory taken from elephants that have died naturally?  But top and bottom is that for as long as there is a demand for ivory and profits are seen to be made from it, elephants will be at risk from poachers and will continue to die in their thousands in a bloody and brutal way.

Ultimately, to quote Ian Redmond, chief Consultant – GRASP (Great Ape Survival Partnership):

Protecting elephants is an important part of fighting climate change. Why? Because every day across Africa and Asia, elephants disperse billions of seeds, some of which will grow into the forests of tomorrow, sequestering and storing carbon, generating rainfall and stabilising our climate. Save the elephants to save the forests to save the world!!


2 responses to this post.

  1. We’re already full into the XXI century and still it seems things continue to be like they have been before. The human beings are showing they never learn and learn they should from Nature.

    Pity this has to be so.


  2. I know Jose, I despair sometimes. It seems that we’re hell bent on a path of self-destruction.


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