By Graham Land
1.9 tons of illegally poached ivory was recently confiscated in Singapore and then sent back to Kenya. In July over 2 tons of ivory, most likely from baby elephants, was seized in Hong Kong en route from Togo.
Asia’s demand for ivory is wiping out Africa’s elephant population. Togo only has 60 elephants living in protected national parks. Though the recent arrest of an ivory kingpin in the country is certainly good news, one can’t help but think that such events as described above are insignificant in the face of the global ivory trade.
Togo banned the trade in ivory 5 years ago, but despite this and the fact that its elephant population is relatively small, the West African nation remains a transit spot for the illegal export of ivory from Africa to China and beyond.
From BBC News:
"Akoumassou Totchikpa, the head of Togo’s Forestry and Fauna Commission, says most of the trafficked ivory comes from the West African sub-region, including Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Ghana and Ivory Coast."
The statistics are shocking: one African elephant is slaughtered every 15 minutes to feed the Asian ivory trade. At this rate there will be no African elephants left within 12 years. According to estimates, 36,000 were slaughtered for ivory last year alone.
From the IB Times: More....