The Agriculture, Fisheries & Conservation Department will incinerate its forfeited ivory stockpile, after coming to an agreement with the Endangered Species Advisory Committee today.
It will keep a small amount of the ivory for potential uses permitted under CITES - the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna & Flora - and incinerate the rest.
The department plans to start the disposal in the first half of this year, and complete it in one to two years.
The international commercial trade in elephant ivory has been prohibited since 1989, when all elephant species were listed in CITES Appendix I.
CITES guidelines allow the use of endangered species’ specimens for scientific, enforcement, identification and education purposes. It also allows the storage or destruction of the specimens.
The department has donated a portion of its ivory stockpile to local schools for conservation education.
It said it strictly adheres to CITES guidelines and considers it necessary to destroy the ivory, as storing the stockpile is a management burden and security risk.