The Chinese government is coming down hard on the ivory trade, claiming that it will come to a complete halt by the end of 2017.
The first step towards this complete ban was the closure of halt the country’s official ivory factories and shops. By Friday afternoon last week, around 30 factories and 140 shops closed their doors for the last time.
To ensure that it’s not simply a ruse, the U.N Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species sent a team to oversee the process.
Beijing officials said that by the time stores close on Friday almost half the country’s official ivory factories and shops will have locked their doors for good, with the rest of the 34 factories and 138 shops following by the end of the year. The U.N. Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species has sent a team of experts to China to oversee the process.
China currently has the largest demand for this material and it is estimated that 70% of the world’s ivory end up there. The majority of this ivory comes from poaching.
And while conservationists tend to blame the ivory-buying public, it has to be said that demand for this material has dropped, which has resulted in a drop in the price. It seems as if the millennials in China aren’t interested in the material at all and are vehemently opposed to using it.
In 2014 ivory was trading for nearly R30 000 per kilogram, but prices have gone as low as R10 000 per kilogram.
It’s also worth noting that these facts and figures do not include information on illegal ivory trading, and what effect these new measures will have on said illegal activities.