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  • HONG KONG’S IVORY MORE ITEMS FOR SALE THAN IN ANY OTHER CITY IN THE WORLD - Save the Elephants
    Esmond Martin Hong Kong is also the world s biggest ivory smuggling hub after Kenya and Tanzania with over 8 tonnes seized by customs officials in 2013 Africa s elephants are in crisis with 100 000 killed for their ivory in just three years between 2010 and 2012 Unless the ivory trade in Hong Kong is closed down the territory will continue to represent a major threat to survival of the species said Iain Douglas Hamilton Founder of Save the Elephants Hong Kong has not officially imported any ivory since 1990 and all outflows from this stock are recorded From 1990 to 2000 all private ivory stocks recorded with the government nearly halved from 474 tonnes to 261 tonnes as traders sold their items By 2008 these stocks had fallen to 232 tonnes But since 2010 government figures show a decrease in ivory stocks of only a tonne a year despite the number of visitors from mainland China most of whom are seeking luxury goods having more than doubled The numbers of elephants continue to decline at an alarming rate in Africa and so Hong Kong urgently needs a firm plan and timeline to phase out the sale of ivory In addition adequate resources are needed for inspection and enforcement efforts said Cheryl Lo Senior Wildlife Crime Officer of WWF Hong Kong A mass slaughtering of African elephants is underway yet the Hong Kong government is turning a blind eye For 25 years since the international ban Hong Kong s ivory traders appear to have been laundering poached ivory from illegally killed elephants into their stocks and flogging it out as new It is clear the only way to fix the problem is for the government to legislate for a commercial ivory sales ban said Alex Hofford of WildAid Officials of Hong Kong s Agriculture Fisheries and Conservation Department AFCD claim the small reduction in quantity of registered ivory stocks in recent years may be because the local demand in ivory is small In January 2015 AFCD had eight full time inspectors focused on inspecting local shops for elephant ivory The most recent inspection by AFCD in 2014 did not show any illegal trade yet the authors survey in 2015 revealed that many outlets selling ivory items do not display the compulsory license and if they do they are sometimes out of date Routine spot checks are not conducted on the average traveller at the Hong Kong airport nor the Lo Wu foot border crossing Much ivory is smuggled in Chinese mainlanders luggage that is rarely discovered by the Hong Kong authorities due to the huge quantities of suitcases shortage of government inspectors and emphasis on checking for other illegal goods On the other side of the border Chinese customs face similar challenges AFCD state that by law illegal ivory transactions can attract a maximum fine of HKD 5 million USD 641 000 but that they typically see penalties of around HKD 20 000 USD 2 564 to HKD 60

    Original URL path: http://savetheelephants.org/about-ste/press-media/?detail=hong-kong-s-ivory-more-items-for-sale-than-in-any-other-city-in-the-world (2016-02-10)
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  • As Consumer Awareness of Ivory and Rhino Horn Trade’s Impact Grows in China, Government Moves to Curb Ivory Markets - Save the Elephants
    the partnership to launch a parallel campaign to reduce the demand for elephant ivory The campaigns use public service announcements billboards and subway ads featuring some of China s biggest celebrities including former NBA superstar Yao Ming action hero Jackie Chan and top Chinese actress Li Bingbing as well as The Duke of Cambridge Prince William David Beckham actor director Jiang Wen and others A documentary film featuring Yao Ming about elephant and rhino poaching in Africa was also produced and released in both China and the United States Media partners in China donated an estimated 90 million last year in pro bono broadcast and media placement for campaign messages This poaching crisis was started by increased demand and will only end when it s reduced A ban on legal sales of ivory in China already proposed by members of the consultative body at the National People s Congress is the greatest single step that could be taken for elephants and would clearly be a popular move said WildAid CEO Peter Knights Though some domestic ivory sales remain legal in China under a government controlled system the Chinese government has taken encouraging steps in the right direction over the past two years Among China s accomplishments February 2015 China s State Forestry Administration announced a one year suspension of import permits for African ivory carvings May 2014 Prime Minister Li Keqiang pledged 10 million in foreign assistance to African countries for wildlife protection and conservation April 2014 The Chinese government strengthened a wildlife consumption law by mandating jail sentences for eating or buying products made from the 420 wildlife species considered rare or endangered January 2014 The government crushed 6 1 tons of confiscated ivory carvings and tusks September 2013 China s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and its embassy in Nairobi implemented an SMS text alert for all visitors to Kenya from China upon activating their mobile phones requesting that they do not buy ivory rhino horn or any other wildlife products during their stay Each year since 2008 the Chinese government has provided up to 200 million in donated broadcast air time and media placement for WildAid s wildlife conservation messages constituting the largest wildlife conservation awareness campaign ever With this extensive media distribution through over 50 outlets WildAid messages on ivory rhino horn shark fin and tigers are resulting in significant increases in public awareness and changing attitudes and behavior and reduced demand for wildlife products such as the recent decline in consumption of shark fin soup The fight to save Africa s elephants and rhinos continues to rage on the ground but these results and other small but hopeful signs of progress suggest that efforts to tackle the trade in both supply and demand countries are working said African Wildlife Foundation CEO Dr Patrick Bergin We re on the right path and increasingly we re seeing signs that China wants to be on that path too Iain Douglas Hamilton founder of Save the Elephants said China holds

    Original URL path: http://savetheelephants.org/about-ste/press-media/?detail=as-consumer-awareness-of-ivory-and-rhino-horn-trade-s-impact-grows-in-china-government-moves-to-curb-ivory-markets (2016-02-10)
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  • China’s Illegal Ivory Trade Escalating Out of Control... - Save the Elephants
    illegal shops outnumbered legal ones by a factor of three in Beijing and a factor of eight in Shanghai A licence to sell was no guarantee that the selling was legal the researchers found 20 out of the 34 registered dealers visited in Beijing were selling ivory that either did not have or did not match the Compulsory Collection Cards that are the official control on the trade The trade in mammoth ivory has more than tripled since the 2000s and is also disguising the illegal trade in elephant tusks Mammoth ivory can be confused with elephant ivory if the quantity is small or the observer inexperienced The confusion suits vendors in both licenced and illegal elephant ivory outlets Vendors in both cities reported that over 90 per cent of their customers were Chinese a feature of the trade not seen since the mid 19th Century In the mid 1980s most ivory buyers originated from Japan Europe and the US in that order but after a ban by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species CITES in 1990 the trade collapsed In 2008 CITES allowed the sale of 62 tonnes of ivory to China reigniting an ivory industry fuelled by demand from newly wealthy Chinese Investors banking on continued rises in the price of ivory appear to be a significant factor in the recent boom rather than buyers of traditional ivory carvings Whole uncarved tusks of both elephant and mammoth ivory are increasingly seen as the most valuable and prestigious items Most vendors said that increasing restrictions would increase the price but some feared that future government controls would make ivory difficult to resell and therefore a bad investment The Chinese government has increased enforcement of the ivory trade in recent years closing down at least 10 officially designated factories and retail outlets jailing hundreds of dealers and sentencing 37 smugglers to life in prison Live auctions with ivory were a big outlet for illegal ivory but this grey market has shrunk by 97 per cent thanks to government pressure Despite these efforts official inspections have evidently been unable to keep up with the escalation of the illegal market At the moment we are not winning the conservation battle against the elephant poachers traffickers and consumers of ivory Laws are in place but even in China they are not being adequately enforced The system is presently out of control say the authors of the report Iain Douglas Hamilton founder of Save the Elephants said one hundred thousand elephants were killed for their ivory in Africa in just three years between 2010 and 2012 according to our research China holds the key to the future of elephants without China s leadership in ending demand for ivory Africa s elephants could disappear from the wild within a generation Selected statistics from the study The wholesale price of raw tusks has tripled in just four years since 2010 In Beijing retail prices increased 13 5 times between 2002 and 2014 In Shanghai

    Original URL path: http://savetheelephants.org/about-ste/press-media/?detail=china-s-illegal-ivory-trade-escalating-out-of-control (2016-02-10)
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  • HONG KONG LAWMAKER TAKES HER FIGHT AGAINST BLOOD IVORY TO AFRICA - Save the Elephants
    economy demand for ivory began to surge from 2008 onwards driving illegal killing of elephants in Africa Corruption poor enforcement of regulations and a lack of prosecutions in Africa have assisted the illegal ivory trade In addition groups such as the Janjaweed the Lord s Resistance Army and Al Shabaab are alleged to be involved in the trade as a source of financing Hong Kong was the historical center of ivory carving and trading industry with 665 tonnes held in stock at the time of the 1989 ban much of it obtained from dubious sources laundered through legal trade loopholes This stock was projected to have been exhausted by 2005 according to government statistics compiled by WildLifeRisk Yet the trade continues with more than 117 1 tonnes of ivory still legally held by trade at the end of 2013 Data from Hong Kong s Agriculture Fisheries and Conservation Department at the end of 2013 shows that there were 447 registered ivory possession license holders in the city all of whom remain anonymous due to Hong Kong s privacy laws Traders have had 25 years to sell their stockpiles in Hong Kong which were obtained at the expense of halving Africa s elephants Instead they have held them back to drive up the price People should not be rewarded for speculating on extinction Historically these legal stocks were used as cover to sell and launder fresh poached ivory it seems likely those practices have continued and now it s time to close the loopholes and give the public a clear message say no to ivory said Peter Knights Executive Director of WildAid SEEKING ALLIES AND RAISING AWARENESS Dr Quat hopes her trip to Kenya will raise awareness and help build momentum for further action in Hong Kong Hong Kong could shut down its ivory market tomorrow the government just lacks the political will to do so explained Dr Quat Coming to Africa and witnessing the realities of elephant poaching first hand has helped me understand the true implications of buying ivory I hope I can share this awareness with the people of Hong Kong and help end the killing There is perhaps no better way to understand how extraordinary Africa s elephants are than to see them in the wild says African Wildlife Foundation CEO Dr Patrick Bergin And by seeing them in the wild we hope Dr Quat will become even more determined to advocate on their behalf and to communicate back home that only elephants should be wearing or displaying ivory Alex Rhodes CEO Stop Ivory said Hong Kong has made significant strides this year with the voluntary closing of its three biggest ivory retailers and through commencing the destruction of their confiscated stockpiles But to save elephants we need the demand to stop This is best done though a combination of a better informed public and more stringent regulations that bring domestic laws in sync with the international ban implemented by CITES in 1989 Hong Kong Legislator Dr

    Original URL path: http://savetheelephants.org/about-ste/press-media/?detail=hong-kong-lawmaker-takes-her-fight-against-blood-ivory-to-africa (2016-02-10)
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  • OVER 100,000 AFRICAN ELEPHANTS KILLED IN THREE YEARS - Save the Elephants
    was directly correlated to a more than quadrupling of local black market ivory prices the poacher s price and tripling in the volume and number of illegal ivory seizures through Kenyan ports of transit The data also show that the destination of the illegally trafficked ivory increasingly shifted to China The team used the intensive study of the Samburu elephants as a Rosetta stone to translate less detailed information from 45 elephant populations across Africa to estimate natural mortality and illegal killing rates to model population trends for the species The CITES mandated global programme known as Monitoring of Illegal Killing of Elephants MIKE establishes cause of death for each elephant carcass found in these sites and this has provided the best measure of poaching pressure Over the last decade the Proportion of Illegally Killed Elephants has climbed from 25 to 60 70 Such figures cause conservationists alarm as the study shows over 54 is a level of poaching that elephant birth rates are unable to overcome and will lead to population decline To establish figures rather than proportions two types of model were used One focused on the elephant populations with the best information and used them as an indicator for the conditions in their region of Africa The other used proxy variables such as Chinese consumption rates a corruption index and poverty rates to estimate illegal killing in 300 sites Both came to similar conclusions While the timing and magnitude of declines differed by region in Africa with central Africa experiencing the worst levels all regions of Africa are facing unsustainable levels of ivory poaching with the killing peak in 2011 equating to over 40 000 elephant deaths It s a complex situation for elephants across Africa with some populations such as in Botswana still increasing History has

    Original URL path: http://savetheelephants.org/about-ste/press-media/?detail=over-100-000-african-elephants-killed-in-three-years (2016-02-10)
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  • BRITISH-LED ROWING TEAM SMASHES TWO WORLD RECORDS FOR ELEPHANTS IN EPIC INDIAN OCEAN CROSSING - Save the Elephants
    s first as he was the first man to fly over Mount Everest I am happy to highlight the cause of Save the Elephants since these wonderful creatures are under great threat from illegal killing for ivory and desperately need help The team faced enormous challenges on their odyssey including having to evacuate a crew member after an injury three capsizes in gigantic seas in the tail end of a hurricane and a collision with what was thought to be a blue whale The boat s Automated Information System AIS aerial was knocked off three oars were broken and her auto helm was destroyed depriving the team of a rower on each shift as steering had to be done manually ends For photographs please see the following link https flic kr s aHsjZVgmss For all interview media and photography enquiries please contact Nicola Cutler 07979 127989 or nicola cutler communications com Notes to Editors CREW Skipper Leven Brown Scotland Jamie Douglas Hamilton Scotland Tim Spiteri Australia Fiann Paul Iceland Shane Usher Australia Cameron Bellamy South Africa Australia Heather Rees Gaunt Wales http www oceanrowevents com expeditions crew Skipper Leven Brown whose organisation Ocean Row Events put the expedition together is considered one of the most experienced ocean rowers in the world and has rowed through four hurricanes in a solo crossing of the Atlantic Leven has broken seven world records and is the only person in history to hold both the North Atlantic and mid Atlantic speed records simultaneously Ocean Row Events Ocean Row Events operates a world class business in a quest to break records raise money for good causes and to give cost effective access to real adventure for everyone from executives to students For more information visit www oceanrowevents com Save the Elephants Save the Elephants STE works to secure a future for elephants in a rapidly changing world To battle the current surge in ivory poaching the STE WCN Elephant Crisis Fund is identifying and supporting the most effective global partners to stop poaching thwart traffickers and end demand for ivory STE supports elephant science that provides cutting edge scientific insights into elephant behaviour intelligence and long distance movement and applies them to the long term challenges of elephant conservation For more information visit http www savetheelephants org MS Australia Multiple Sclerosis MS is a chronic disease that affects the central nervous system The progress severity and specific symptoms of MS cannot be predicted Statistics show that 1 in 20 Australian s will be touched by MS through a family member colleague or friend who is living with the disease It is estimated that over 21 000 people in Australia have MS MS Australia aims to minimize the impacts of MS on all individuals affected by the disease their families carers and the community by offering a wide range of assistance services and equipment MS Australia s goal is to assist everyone affected by MS to live life to their full potential until we ultimatey find

    Original URL path: http://savetheelephants.org/about-ste/press-media/?detail=british-led-rowing-team-smashes-two-world-records-for-elephants-in-epic-indian-ocean-crossing (2016-02-10)
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  • PRICE OF IVORY IN CHINA TRIPLES IN FOUR YEARS, WITH GRAVE IMPLICATIONS FOR ELEPHANTS IN AFRICA - Save the Elephants
    and factories in Beijing and Shanghai and contrasted their findings with prices they had established in Fuzhou four years previously The average price paid by craftsmen or factory owners for good quality privately owned 1 4kg elephant tusks in Beijing in early 2014 was 2 100 per kilogram The average price for similar tusks in 2010 was 750 per kg said Dr Martin The surge in the price of ivory is driving a wave of killing of elephants across Africa that shows little sign of abating With the ivory price in Africa a tenth of that reached in China substantial profits are being generated for organised crime that fuels insecurity corruption and deprives local communities of valuable income Save the Elephants estimates that an average of 33 000 elephants were lost to poachers every year between 2010 and 2012 Without concerted international action to reduce the demand for ivory measures to reduce the killing of elephants for ivory will fail said Iain Douglas Hamilton founder of Save the Elephants Although half a world away China holds the key to the future of the African Elephant A full report on the study supported by the Elephant Crisis Fund established by Save the Elephants and the Wildlife Conservation Network and The Aspinall Foundation is in production In June 2014 Dr Martin Ms Vigne revealed that Angola now has Africa s second largest illegal retail ivory market While Lagos in Nigeria has more ivory items on sale stallholders are secretive and aware of regulations By contrast the salesmen in Luanda Angola appeared unconcerned about getting caught selling illegal ivory click here for a report by the Associated Press Contact Frank Pope COO Save the Elephants 254 725 777 552 frank savetheelephants org About Save the Elephants Save the Elephants STE works to secure

    Original URL path: http://savetheelephants.org/about-ste/press-media/?detail=price-of-ivory-in-china-triples-in-four-years-with-grave-implications-for-elephants-in-africa (2016-02-10)
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  • Environment Ministers add their voice to global efforts to combat illegal wildlife trade - Save the Elephants
    World Heritage Sites The effects of illegal wildlife trade on natural assets were highlighted earlier this month at the 38th session of the UNESCO World Herigate Committee held in Doha We cannot allow poaching for the illegal trade in wildlife and the global crime syndicates behind it to destroy entire species the world is losing the building blocks of our ecosystems that we all rely upon Africa s elephants are also known as the ecological engineers they disperse the seeds of the food they eat and are an essential part of healthy and diverse ecosystems Healthy ecosystems also provide essential services for people from the provision of fresh water to wildlife based tourism added Scanlon Both UNESCO and CITES have expressed concern over World Heritage sites across Africa that are suffering from a surge in poaching in particular of elephants which is diminishing their natural heritage value and appeal as wildlife tourism destinations which can have severe economic consequences Half of the 14 African World Heritage sites monitored under the CITES Monitoring the Illegal Killing of Elephants MIKE programme are now on the in danger list namely Comoé Cote d Ivoire Niokolo Koba Sénégal Garamba Kahuzi Biega Salonga and Okapi all in the DRC and Virunga DRC and Uganda The CITES Secretariat is working with the UNESCO World Heritage Centre to better protect these iconic sites The degradation of World Heritage sites through poaching for illegal trade is destroying these beautiful wildlife based tourism assets impoverishing local people and national economies as well as the world s natural heritage added Scanlon In Tanzania for example 28 of the land mass is set aside as wildlife areas forests wetlands and protected land Tourism is estimated to account for 17 2 of the GDP with many tourists going on safari and hoping to see the big five The government estimates that the elephant population in the Selous and Mikumi game sanctuaries has declined from 38 975 in 2009 to an estimated 13 084 today andCITES estimates that in the past year alone over 20 000 elephants were illegally killed in Africa The Committee added Selous Reserve in Tanzania to the in danger list under the World Heritage Convention because the dramatic decline of 81 of the elephant population since 2005 and the devastating impacts of poaching driven by growing illicit trade particularly in Asia We are fighting highly organized crime groups that target wildlife for profit These groups are driven by greed and the scale of their activities can in some places threaten entire ecosystems For this reason it remains vital for countries to recognize wildlife crime as a serious crime to deploy the same tools and specialized techniques that we use to fight other organized crimes such as human and drug trafficking against it and to continue to further enhance and scale up their law enforcement responses to illegal wildlife trade said Ben Janse Van Rensburg CITES Chief of Enforcement Support and former head of the Environmental Crime Desk of the

    Original URL path: http://savetheelephants.org/about-ste/press-media/?detail=environment-ministers-add-their-voice-to-global-efforts-to-combat-illegal-wildlife-trade (2016-02-10)
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