China hopes that countries can improve coordination, do less finger-pointing and make more joint efforts in fighting ivory smuggling globally and conserving elephant populations, a Chinese official has said.
In a recent interview with Xinhua, Meng Xianlin, deputy director of China's Endangered Species Import and Export Management Office, said the increase of ivory poaching in Africa was caused by several factors, such as conflicts between elephants and humans in the animals' habitats, local people's livelihoods, warfare and organized crime.
"We can't simply attribute that to legal utilization and trade of ivory or to market demand," he said.
China's success in combating illegal ivory trade became apparent early this week, when the police department under the State Forestry Administration announced on Thursday that it had investigated 60 ivory-smuggling cases so far this year, arresting over 100 suspects and seizing more than 1,000 kg of ivory.
However, according to a report released early this year by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), ivory smuggling activities have become more rampant globally since 2009 and more than 10,000 African elephants have been illegally killed each year.
In Meng's view, the fundamental solution to this problem must come from close cooperation among countries that hold elephant habitats, are transit points for shipments or are big consumers of ivory.
In elephant-habitat countries, efforts should be made on conservation, improving local people's livelihood and enhancing market management. The international community should provide technological and financial support to these countries in this regard, he urged.
At the same time, the countries concerned should cooperate at all ends of the smuggling chain and track ivory, strengthen law enforcement and crack down on organized crime, so as to break up the smuggling chain, according to the Chinese official. More....