World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Ivory found for sale on Myanmar’s border with China

Cambridge, UK, 13th January 2014—An undercover team from TRAFFIC and Oxford Brookes University have found more than 3300 pieces of ivory and close to 50 raw ivory elephant tusks openly for sale in Mong La, a town on the Myanmar side of the country’s border with China.

The findings come less than a week after China publicly destroyed more than 6 tonnes of ivory in Guangdong, in a display of commitment against the global illicit trade in ivory.

The majority of inhabitants, including ivory vendors, in Mong La are from China, with the currency of daily use the Chinese Yuan Renminbi. The town is visited by large numbers of Chinese nationals, mainly for the seedy nightlife.

According to sources, ivory enters the town from China, mostly already carved. Twenty-seven shops were found offering ivory for sale, most of it likely to originate from Africa, where the carved hippo teeth also on display undoubtedly originated. Several shops were openly showcasing hundreds of carved pieces of ivory in glass display cases.

“Our observations suggest Mong La may be one of the biggest unregulated ivory markets in Asia, and it is doubtless one of those where ivory is most openly displayed,” said Professor Vincent Nijman, from Oxford Brookes University.

It means Mong La could rank alongside markets in Bangkok in Thailand and Guangzhou in China, long-known as centres for the illegal domestic and international ivory trade.

Trade in ivory is largely illegal in Myanmar (there may be some authorized trade in the tusk tips of legally-owned elephants) and cross-border trade of ivory is not permitted under guidelines agreed upon by countries that are signatory to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

“It is clear that neither Myanmar nor China are effectively enforcing CITES regulations, as ivory is evidently moving across the border,” said Professor Nijman.

Volumes of ivory found in the markets of Mong La were higher than at any point since TRAFFIC first started monitoring wildlife trade in the border town in 2006.

“Increasing volumes of ivory in an open cross-border market catering to Chinese consumers is a sure sign that international agreements are not being enforced and action to reduce ivory demand is not effective,” said Dr Chris R Shepherd, Director of TRAFFIC in South-East Asia.

“However, as the market is situated in Myanmar, it is the responsibility of Myanmar’s authorities to take swift action and close down this illicit trade.”

In 2014 Myanmar is chair of the ASEAN Wildlife Enforcement Network (ASEAN-WEN), a regional inter-agency and inter-governmental initiative to counter the illegal cross-border trade in endangered plants and animals.

Myanmar is one of three countries in Asia, alongside Lao PDR and Cambodia, who have never submitted information on ivory seizures to ETIS (the Elephant Trade Information System), the database on global ivory seizures that TRAFFIC manages on behalf of CITES Conference of the Parties.

“As the current Chair of ASEAN-WEN, there is a huge responsibility on Myanmar to set an example and clamp down on this blatantly illegal trade in ivory,” said Shepherd.

“China must play its part too in helping the authorities in Myanmar carry out this essential enforcement action.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Demonetisation: Gordon Campbell On India’s Huge Socio-Economic Experiment

Without much coverage at all in the West, India has just been engaged for the past few weeks in one of the world’s biggest socio-economic experiments since the Cultural Revolution in China. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Death Of Fidel Castro

New Zealand likes to think we played our part – via the 1981 Springbok tour – in bringing the apartheid regime in South Africa to an end… Jacob Zuma treated the death of Fidel Castro at the weekend as an occasion to pay a heartfelt tribute to the thousands of Cuban soldiers who travelled across the world to inflict the first significant military defeat on the forces of white supremacy. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The US Election Home Stretch

Once again at the business end of a US election, the result will hinge on the same old bits of geography as always: the Five Crucial Counties in Ohio, the Two Crucial Counties in Pennsylvania and the I-4 Interstate Corridor in Florida that runs from Tampa Bay through Orlando to Daytona Beach. More>>

ALSO:

Meanwhile:

Haiti: $5 Million To Kick-Start Aid In Wake Of Hurricane Matthew

UN emergency fund allocates $5 million to kick-start assistance in wake of Hurricane Matthew More>>

ALSO:

Preliminary Results: MH17 Investigation Report

The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) is convinced of having obtained irrefutable evidence to establish that on 17 July 2014, flight MH-17 was shot down by a BUK missile from the 9M38-series. According to the JIT there is also evidence identifying the launch location that involves an agricultural field near Pervomaiskyi which, at the time, was controlled by pro-Russian fighters. More>>

ALSO:

Not Helen Clark: António Guterres Favourite For Next UN Secretary-General

Former Portuguese Prime Minister António Guterres has emerged as the clear favourite to become the next United Nations Secretary-General following the sixth secret ballot held today by the UN Security Council, which is expected to take a formal decision tomorrow and forward Mr. Guterres’ name to the 193-Member General Assembly for final confirmation. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>

ALSO:

Other Australian Detention

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news