The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is set to destroy about five tons of confiscated elephant tusks estimated to be worth US$10 million or roughly P420 million in support of global effort to end the illegal trade of wildlife species.
DENR Secretary Ramon J.P. Paje in a statement said the seized ivory tusks will be crushed by a road roller and burned in the presence of foreign experts and anti-ivory trade advocates on June 21 at the Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center in Quezon City.
“Our decision to destroy these ivory tusks that entered the country illegally is to show to the whole world that the Philippines will not tolerate illegal wildlife trade,” Paje said.
The destruction of the ivory tusks is one of the highlights of the national celebration of June as Environment Month.
In 1989, the Geneva-based Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna (CITES), to which the Philippines is a signatory, banned the buying and selling of ivory to combat a massive illegal trade that caused dramatic declines in elephant populations throughout most of Africa in the 1970s and 1980s.
Elephants are listed in Appendix 1 of CITES, which means they are highly endangered, and are banned from international trade. CITES said the high demand for ivory found in elephant tusks drives the killing of the animal, especially in Africa. More....