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

 

Whaling: Japan’s Institute for Cetacean Research In Defiance Of World Court Ruling

The ICR Today Filed Court Briefs Stating They Intend to Return to Antarctica to Hunt Whales in 2015-2016; Will Seek to Enjoin Other Sea Shepherd Entities from Obstructing Their Operations More>>

Ukraine: UN Urges 'Maximum Restraint' Amid Situation In East Ukraine

Deeply concerned by the deteriorating situation in eastern Ukraine, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called for maximum restraint and appealed to all sides to work towards calming the situation, which has the 'growing potential' to ... More>>

United Nations: Children Can Now Lodge Complaints With The UN

GENEVA (14 April 2014) – United Nations child rights experts have hailed a new treaty that allows children to complain directly to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child about alleged violations of their rights. More>>

India: Election But A Ritual In Nation Lacking Rule Of Law

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) congratulates the people of India for their participation to elect the 16th Lok Sabha. The process has attracted, as usual, considerable media attention across the world. Media claims the process to be 'the largest democratic ... More>>

Solomon Islands: Thousands Remain Affected After Flash Floods

An estimated 52,000 people remain affected in the worst-hit areas of Honiara and greater Guadalcanal following last week’s devastating floods which killed at least 23 people. More>>

ALSO:

World: Some 437,000 People Murdered Worldwide In 2012 - UN

Almost half a million people across the world lost their lives in 2012 as a result of intentional homicide, with the highest murder rates logged in the Americas and Africa, and the lowest in Europe, Asia and Oceania, the United Nations Office on ... More>>

Central African Republic:: Security Council Establishes UN Peacekeeping Mission

Deeply concerned about the deteriorating security situation and ongoing human rights abuses in the Central African Republic (CAR), the Security Council today approved the establishment of a nearly 12,000-strong United Nations peacekeeping operation ... More>>

ALSO:

Parliament: NZ Sending Aid Flight To Solomons

Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully has announced further support for the response to severe flooding in Solomon Islands. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news