By Simone Orendain
The Philippines government has started to destroy more than five tonnes of confiscated elephant tusks in Manila.
Mundita Lim, director of the country's wildlife agency, has told Radio Australia's Connect Asia the Philippines wants to demonstrate it is taking a stand against the illegal ivory trade.
"The range countries in Africa and Asia... we want to let them know we support them in their battle against the poaching of elephants for ivory," she said.
The crushing event was held at the city's Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center on Friday.
Crushing the tusks is not an easy task and a backhoe is used to pound the ivory until pieces start to shatter.
The elephant tusks will be cremated and some of the remaining powder will be used to mix into cement for an elephant memorial.
The Philippines is a main transit point for the illicit ivory trade route from Africa to China.
The country also wants to shake off its image as a country with lax enforcement of laws that counter the illicit trade.
This five tonnes of ivory is less than half of what customs seized from 1992 through 2009.
Officials say the search continues for nearly eight tonnes that went missing.
The country is not only a stopping point for the illicit ivory trade, it's also a major consumer of ivory products. More....