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

 

Russian Hack Job?: White House - Actions In Response To Russian Malicious Cyber Activity & Harassment

President Obama authorized a number of actions in response to the Russian government’s aggressive harassment of U.S. officials and cyber operations aimed at the U.S. election in 2016. More>>


Israel/Palestine: Michael Field - Background To How Israel Nearly Went To War With New Zealand

New Zealand and Senegal managed to get the United Nations Security Council to pass resolution 2334 which said Israel’s settlements in Palestinian territory violate international law and undermine a two-state solution in Israel's conflict with Palestine. More>>

ALSO:


US Indigenous Affairs: How President Obama Has Protected Our Sacred Land

I am very proud to be both Navajo and American. As the President of the Navajo Nation, I’ve dedicated my life to ensuring that, as a Navajo, my story -- and our stories -- are part of our collective American history. Today, I want to share one of those stories with you. More>>

Binoy Kampmark: The Berlin Truck Attack And The Refugee Question

The hard-nosed neo-cons were certainly showing little interest in linking arguments, examining evidence, or even considering elementary logic in the aftermath of the Berlin truck attack near the Gedächtniskirche. With the bodies fresh in the morgue, former US ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, peered into the mind of the everyday German, and found teeth chattering fear. More>>


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:


Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news