Archive for ‘conservation’


Vice premier urges solid efforts for biodiversity conservation


Chinese Vice Premier Han Zheng, also a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, presides over a meeting of China National Committee for Biodiversity Conservation in Beijing, capital of China, Feb. 13, 2019. (Xinhua/Wang Ye)

BEIJING, Feb. 13 (Xinhua) — Chinese Vice Premier Han Zheng on Wednesday stressed solid efforts to further protect biological diversity.

Han, also a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, made the remarks when presiding over a meeting of China National Committee for Biodiversity Conservation.

Despite the substantial progress that has been made, more needs to be done to stop the current decline in biodiversity, he said.

In order to offer the highest level of protection for biodiversity, Han stressed establishing a management system for protected nature areas by establishing a network of national parks, nature reserves and parks.

He urged stepping up protection of wild fauna and flora with strengthened oversight and cracking down on related illegalities, adding that biodiversity should be supported with the optimal institutional and legal framework.

Han also called for making preparations to host the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in China next year.

Source: Xinhua


Hong Kong Retailers Say They’ll Stop Selling Ivory – China Real Time Report – WSJ

The window for buying ivory in Hong Kong is narrowing.

Three local sellers of everything from dinner wear to curios said on Wednesday that ivory was no longer welcome on their shelves. Wing On Department Store said it would stop selling ivory products in July, while Yue Hwa Chinese Products Emporium said it stopped selling ivory on May 7 and Chinese Arts & Crafts ( HK) Ltd. said it stopped in March.

The notices — given in letters from the three companies released on Wednesday by conservation groups — came just a day before Hong Kong plans to burn a 30-ton stockpile of seized elephant ivory.  Their moves “send a clear message that the consumption of ivory is rapidly becoming taboo in Hong Kong society,” said Alex Hofford, director of Hong Kong for Elephants, a local lobby group.

Representatives of the three companies attended a press conference on Wednesday to announce their new stance but left before taking questions. A call to Wing On wasn’t immediately returned. A Yue Hwa representative declined to comment further. A spokesman of Chinese Arts & Crafts said the ivory the company once sold was legal.

Nearly 100 elephants are killed every day for ivory trinkets — bracelets, statuettes and other decorative items sold illegally around the world, according to Hong Kong for Elephants. Wildlife experts estimate the African elephant population stand around 420,000 to 650,000 and could be wiped out in 10 to 15 years if nothing is done to ease the problem.

The groups argue that the slaughter of African elephants continues largely to meet the rising demand for tusks from newly affluent Chinese consumers.  The price of ivory in China was 15,000 yuan ($2,478) per kilogram in 2011, more than triple its price in 2006, according to data from the International Fund for Animal Welfare.

Wildlife conservation groups Wednesday urged the Hong Kong government turn its post-burning attention to the city’s 117.1 metric ton legal stockpile of ivory still in circulation in Hong Kong. Hong Kong for Elephants also called upon the city’ s government to legislate a permanent ban on ivory sales.

The Hong Kong government’s burning plans followed China’s, which in January pulverized six tons of illegal tusks.

In a recent official visit in Africa, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang also vowed to combat poaching and ivory smuggling.

“Changes are afoot for the better for elephants. This is an extraordinary encouraging moment for the global effort to reduce ivory demand in Asia,”  said Iris Ho of Humane Society International, an organization that works on animal protection.

via Hong Kong Retailers Say They’ll Stop Selling Ivory – China Real Time Report – WSJ.

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China’s first ‘ivory crush’ signals it may join global push to protect African elephants – The Washington Post

China, the world’s biggest consumer of illegal ivory, crushed six tons of tusks and carved ornaments in public Monday, in an event that signaled it would do more to join global efforts to protect African elephants from rampant poaching.

About 25,000 of the estimated 500,000 elephants in Africa are illegally slaughtered each year for their tusks, conservationists say. It is a $10 billion industry that draws in global crime syndicates and African rebel groups, and threatens to wipe out elephants from parts of the continent within a decade.

Although Chinese authorities have stepped up anti-trafficking efforts in recent years, the trade in illegal ivory has continued, in part because many Chinese people do not know elephants have to die for the ivory to be taken.

On Monday, workers in overalls fed scores of weighty tusks and hundreds of small, intricately carved objects into a large, noisy green crushing machine in front of a crowd of officials, diplomats, conservationists and journalists in this small town just outside the southern city of Guangzhou.

“We also hope this event will raise the public awareness of conservation and intensify the responsibilities of enforcement agencies,” said Zhao Shucong, director of the State Forestry Administration. Zhao admitted that ivory smuggling was “still raging” and said that China was “in urgent need of sincere collaboration with different countries and international organizations” to support elephant conservation.

Past efforts to curb ivory poaching have at times disintegrated into finger-pointing between officials in Africa — where corruption and weak law enforcement have allowed poachers to prosper — and countries such as China, where most of the ivory ends up.

via China’s first ‘ivory crush’ signals it may join global push to protect African elephants – The Washington Post.

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