By Catherine Teves
Government will do its part in helping address illegal trade of ivory sourced from elephant tusks which authorities estimate to fetch USD2,000 per kg in the black market. Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau Dir. Theresa Mundita Lim gave such assurance, noting the agency will destroy this week some five tons of elephant tusks previously smuggled into the country from Africa en route to various foreign destinations but which authorities confiscated.
"We'll destroy those tusks to prove we're not condoning illegal trade of ivory," she said Tuesday afternoon in Metro Manila during a briefing on the matter.
She further highlighted need for action, noting a study identified the Philippines as among transhipment points along the illegal ivory trade route.
The environment department noted elephants are banned from international trade.
Elephants are also listed in Appendix 1 of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna - to which the Philippines is a signatory - for being highly endangered, the department continued.
”CITES said high demand for ivory found in elephant tusks drives killing of the animal especially in Africa," the department reported.
Lim said elephant tusks to be destroyed are among those authorities confiscated during the 1996-2009 period and turned over to PAWB for safekeeping.
According to authorities, the tusks due for destruction are worth an estimated USD10 million. More....