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Nairobi, Kenya

Martin E.,PO Box 15510 00503 | Vigne L.,PO Box 15510 00503
Pachyderm | Year: 2014

Luanda, the capital of Angola, has the largest illegal retail ivory market in southern Africa today. In early 2014 we surveyed the retail outlets in and around Luanda and counted 10,888 recently carved ivory items without proper documentation, and thus illegal. These pieces had been crafted in central Africa and Angola, mostly from poached forest elephants. The tusks can be obtained wholesale in Luanda for USD 150–250/kg. We estimated 92% of the total worked ivory on display was in Mercardo do Artesanato in Benfica in the southern outskirts of Luanda. The vendors there are from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of Congo and Angola. The buyers today are nearly all Chinese. There has been a huge increase in demand for worked ivory since 2005 due to the rising number of Chinese working in Angola, from 25,000 in 2006 to 260,000 in 2012. Items for the Chinese, such as jewellery, name seals, Buddhas and chopsticks, dominate the market. Retail prices can be a tenth of those in China, and construction workers go daily to Benfica market for worked ivory to bring back home. Not only is Angola acting as a main conduit for shipments of tusks wholesale to East Asia, but the blatant sale of ivory items in Benfica market encourages poaching as well. Angola needs urgently to enforce its domestic ban on ivory sales and the CITES ban. © 2014, International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. All rights reserved.


Vigne L.,PO Box 15510 00503 | Martin E.,PO Box 15510 00503
Pachyderm | Year: 2013

In Yemen, the wholesale price for rhino horn for making dagger handles has remained at about USD 1,500/ kg since 2006, unlike in eastern Asia where prices are over 10 times higher than in Yemen. Left-over shavings sell in Sana’a for about USD 940/kg and are illegally exported to eastern Asian markets. In November 2012, jambiya makers in the Sana’a old souk numbered 83 in 58 open workshops. More craftsmen are now using an increasingly popular material—a solidified gum—to make jambiya handles. These handles first appeared on the Yemen market in 2008 and in about 2010 were improved with a grainy material added that closely resembles rhino horn. Most people call them ‘Chinese’ jambiyas, believing they are imported from China. These inexpensive handles are now crafted in Sana’a. They need to be further promoted in Yemen. They are helping to reduce pressure on eastern Africa’s rhinos. During our November 2012 visit to Yemen, we also worked on an education campaign on the plight of the rhino. Yemen is no longer a major threat to rhinos due to the country’s economic crisis, the introduction of the new inexpensive material for making dagger handles, and further campaigning against the use of rhino horn. © 2013, International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. All rights reserved.


Martin E.,PO Box 15510 00503 | Martin C.,PO Box 15510 00503 | Vigne L.,PO Box 15510 00503
Pachyderm | Year: 2013

Well deserving accolades, Nepal has succeeded in granting better protection for its Asian rhino population than has any other country. According to the 2011 census, Chitwan National Park, Bardia National Park and Suklaphanta Wildlife Reserve had a total of 534 greater one-horned rhinos. In that year, only one rhino was poached. In 2012, just one other rhino was illegally killed. In November 2010 the Nepalese government set up three wildlife crime-control committees to work together nationally and in the districts to combat poaching and illegal wildlife trade in coordination with the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation, the Forest Department, Customs, the army, the police, the National Investigation Department and the Crime Investigation Bureau. Emphasis was placed on apprehending traders, identifying smuggling routes and enlisting other governments in the region to coordinate action against wildlife culprits. The cooperation of Nepal’s own government departments, help from non-government conservation organizations and commitment from local people living near the boundaries of the three protected wildlife areas led to more measures taken to ensure rhino protection. These measures included training of law-enforcement officers, enforced severe penalties for wildlife crimes, better anti-poaching units composed of members of the communities living around the parks, improved intelligence gathering, and more money allocated to the communities as a result of increased park income from higher entry fees, and a higher number of tourists. Local communities receive 50% of the gross income of the three protected areas. In addition, local communities are financially benefiting from providing more amenities to tourists. Despite escalating prices for rhino horn in China and Vietnam, Nepal has curtailed poachers and traders. Other rhino range States in Asia and Africa have much to learn from Nepal’s successes in rhino protection. © 2013, International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. All rights reserved.

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