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Nairobi, Kenya

Ghanaians have a long history in ivory, both for export and for carving. From the 1970s to the early 1990s, however, most of hana's elephant were killed either by local farmers in retribution for human-elephant conflictor by poachers for the ivory trade. Ghanaian ivory craftsmen used the tusks primarily to make jewellery and figurines over this time. These curios were mostly sold in Accra, the capital, but due to lack of market surveys, very little data are available. In July 2010 I surveyed the retail outlets selling ivory in Accra and counted only 10 items on display in an art gallery and 85 items brought to me in five of 186 souvenir shops and stalls I visited. The reason there were so few items was that the Ghana Police Service and Wildlife Division of the Forestry Commission had carried out a raid in November 2008 in the main curio market confiscating several hundred kilos of ivory items, fining and imprisoning the dealers. Since then the vendors in Accra have feared to sell ivory. Elephant poaching declined at the start of the 21st century thanks to improved law enforcement. In 2004 a new system was introduced that involves performance and adaptive management through the monitoring of patrol effort and observations by the field-staff in the Wildlife Division. The combined effect of performance and adaptive management was that the number of effective days spent in the field by an average Wildlife Guard doubled, which dramatically lowered the number of elephants killed illegally. In addition, governance improved, Ghanaians developed greater respect for the law and there was less corruption, which reduced elephant poaching and the sale of ivory objects. This paper concludes that Ghanaian examples of greater patrol staff performance through improved monitoring-and of successfully raiding outlets selling illegal ivory-are a sound approach to reducing elephant poaching. While improving anti-poaching exercises is more difficult in some African range States, the Ghanaian example of shop raids is easier to implement and has also worked in countries such as Cameroon and Ethiopia. Other countries in Africa, especially Cote d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria and Senegal, need to follow the example of Ghana in carrying out official raids on ivory in retail outlets. Source

Vigne L.,PO Box 15510 | Martin E.,PO Box 15510
Pachyderm | Year: 2010

In November 2009 the authors visited Japan to survey the current status of the ivory trade. The Japanese ivory traders had in stock about 100 tonnes of raw ivory, including nearly 40 tonnes imported legally that year from southern Africa. Over 15 major ivory traders were interviewed and all reported that they were worried for the future of their business, unless they could obtain a regular supply of ivory tusks from Africa. They would need to buy 50 tonnes of good quality tusks from Africa every five years, priced around USD 200/kg if their businesses were to be sustainable. Future sales, however, will not be permitted by CITES before 2013, if then, and the ivory traders are worried their supplies of good quality tusks will not last. About 80% of the tusks used in Japan is for signature stamps called inkans or hankos, but other items are also still made from ivory, such as chop-sticks, objects for the Japanese tea ceremony, traditional musical instrument parts, netsukes, small figurines, jewellery and accessories. Overall, production in Japan has declined, with 13 tonnes being used a year in 2001 and 7 tonnes in 2009. This can be explained by a number of factors. Japan's economy has been in recession since 1990 and fewer Japanese are buying luxury ivory items. The Japanese are steadily becoming more westernized and ivory has therefore become less fashionable. Strict government regulations have also become a deterrent to ivory carvers and vendors, and because all ivory exports (except antiques) have been prohibited from Japan since the CITES ban in 1990, foreign visitors can no longer buy ivory items to take home with them. Source

Martin E.,PO Box 15510 | Martin C.,PO Box 15510
Pachyderm | Year: 2010

The commerce in woolly mammoth tusks (Mammuthus primigenius) in Russia, the main source for this raw material, has been going on for thousands of years, but during the communist period (1917-1989) the trade declined sharply. Since the early 1990s the domestic and international trade in these tusks has greatly expanded due to the freeing up of the Russian economy, more foreign visitors to the country and greater demand due to the prohibition of international trade in elephant ivory in 1990. In recent years, 60 tonnes of mammoth tusks have been exported annually from Russia, mostly to Hong Kong for carving in mainland China. Additionally, there are local carving industries in several areas of Russia, but most of the objects emerging from these locales are sold within the country. Many thousands of recently-made mammoth ivory items are for sale in Asia, Europe and North America. People wishing to buy an elephant ivory object may purchase a similar one crafted from mammoth ivory that is legal and free of cumbersome paperwork. Mammoth ivory items are not for sale in Africa. If mammoth objects were to be offered in Africa, they could serve as cover for elephant ivory items. There are pros and cons for supporting a mammoth ivory trade in respect to elephant conservation. At the moment, however, there is no evidence that the worldwide mammoth ivory trade is adversely affecting the African or Asian elephant. For this reason, and because the species is extinct and large quantities of tusks are still available in Siberia, the commerce in mammoth ivory should not be banned. Source

Esmond,PO Box 15510 | Martin C.,PO Box 15510
Pachyderm | Year: 2010

Rhino poaching in Nepal declined in 2008 and 2009 in contrast to the previous seven years. Among the primary reasons for this decrease were the improved law and order throughout the country and better anti-poaching efforts. NGOs allocated more resources to local communities living around Bardia and Chitwan National Parks, and an increase in tourism meant that the Parks' Buffer Zone Management Committees received more money and assistance from the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation (DNPWC). Lower caste people who understand the needs of the poorest were elected to senior positions on the Management Committees and User Groups in the Buffer Zones. In turn, these developments encouraged the mostly poor people of the local communities to support more fully rhino protection. Improved co-operation amongst the NGOs, DNPWC, the Army and local communities helped reduce rhino poaching in 2008 and 2009. Source

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