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 Upcycling of PET Bottles: New Ideas for Resource Cycles in Germany
25.06.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Betriebsfestigkeit und Systemzuverlässigkeit LBF

nachricht Dry landscapes can increase disease transmission
20.06.2018 | Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.

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: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

Im Focus: Chemical reactions in the light of ultrashort X-ray pulses from free-electron lasers

Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.

Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Nano-kirigami: 'Paper-cut' provides model for 3D intelligent nanofabrication

16.07.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

New players, standardization and digitalization for more rail freight transport

16.07.2018 | Transportation and Logistics

Researchers discover natural product that could lead to new class of commercial herbicide

16.07.2018 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>