Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Elephants under threat as illegal ivory price soars in Viet Nam

18.02.2009
Indochina’s few surviving elephants are under increasing threat from booming illegal ivory prices in Viet Nam, according to a new market analysis released today by TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network.

An assessment of the illegal ivory trade in Viet Nam said Vietnamese illegal ivory prices could be the highest in the world, with reports of tusks selling for up to USD1500/kg and small, cut pieces selling for up to USD1863/kg.

Most of the raw ivory was said to originate from the Lao Peoples’ Democratic Republic, with small amounts from Viet Nam and Cambodia.

“This is a worrying trend that indicates even more pressure is being put on already fragile Asian Elephant populations,” said Azrina Abdullah. Director of TRAFFIC Southeast Asia.

According to IUCN figures, no more than 1,000 elephants are believed to survive in Lao PDR, while in Viet Nam, fewer than 150 are believed to exist. In December 2008, TRAFFIC released a report that found evidence of widespread smuggling of live Asian Elephants and their ivory from Myanmar.

Mammoth ivory from Russia was also used in small quantities, but no African raw ivory was found, although it was still being illegally imported into Viet Nam up to at least 2004.

Trade in ivory was outlawed in Viet Nam in 1992, but a major loophole in the legislation exists because shops can still sell ivory in stock dating from the prohibition. This allows some shop owners to restock illegally with recently-made carved ivory.

In 2008, TRAFFIC surveyed 669 retail outlets across Viet Nam and found 73 (11%) selling a total of 2,444 ivory items. Whilst the scale of the ivory market was smaller than in previous surveys, there were signs of increasing demand and overall numbers of craftsmen had increased since 2001. Ho Chi Minh City had the most retail outlets (49) and ivory items (1,776), but Ha Noi, with only 10 outlets, had the highest number of craftsmen.

“Although fewer ivory items were seen in 2008 than in 2001, worked ivory is increasingly being sold directly to buyers through middlemen or on the Internet, bypassing retail outlets,” said Abdullah,

“Continued demand for illegal ivory is driving the prices so high,” explained Abdullah.

Recent seizures in and outside Viet Nam also suggest that most raw ivory is being supplied to China.

The main buyers of ivory were from China (including Hong Kong and Taiwan) and Thailand, local Vietnamese, American-Vietnamese and Europeans, in that order.

“This insidious illegal trade is further threatening the highly endangered elephants of Asia and must be stopped,” said Dr. Susan Lieberman, Director of the Species Programme for WWF-International.

The report recommends that Viet Nam should comply with its obligations under CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora), particularly regarding the reporting of ivory seizures, that national regulations and their enforcement should be tightened and offenders prosecuted, and that ivory for sale in retail outlets should be confiscated by the government and destroyed.

The report also recommends better training for wildlife law enforcement officers and continued participation in the ASEAN Wildlife Enforcement Network (ASEAN-WEN) and similar initiatives that aim to control the illicit trafficking of ivory and other wildlife products in the region.

The investigation into ivory trade in Viet Nam was supported by WWF-Netherlands, and the publication of the report, An assessment of the illegal ivory trade in Viet Nam, was supported by the Rufford Maurice Laing Foundation.

Lee Poston | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.wwfus.org

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Bioinvasion on the rise
15.02.2017 | Universität Konstanz

nachricht Litter Levels in the Depths of the Arctic are On the Rise
10.02.2017 | Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

From rocks in Colorado, evidence of a 'chaotic solar system'

23.02.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

'Quartz' crystals at the Earth's core power its magnetic field

23.02.2017 | Earth Sciences

Antimicrobial substances identified in Komodo dragon blood

23.02.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>