By Katarzyna Nowak, Trevor Jones
The idea that we can save elephants by selling their teeth is a flawed vision that will accelerate elephants down their current road toward near extinction.
In fact, the tide is turning, in favor of destroying ivory stocks and enacting moratoria on domestic trade.
Over the past year, nations on three continents have destroyed ivory stockpiles—Kenya, Gabon, and the Philippines, and now the U.S.—and more nations are set to follow. Just a few days ago, leaders of seven African countries stood with the Clinton Global Initiative to pledge to ban trade of ivory within their borders.
The message emanating from these bold actions is clear: Elephants are running out of time, and we can no longer afford to use ivory.
In the latest perpetuation of the ad nauseam debate, “to trade or not to trade,” John Frederick Walker heralds the vision, “what people want, people get” [News Watch: How China Could Decide the Future of Africa's Elephants\—a market-based, utilitarian perspective.
Another perspective, another vision, is to stop using ivory.
Some Corrections to Walker’s Post
This is the darkest period in elephants’ history.
While there have been other periods when more elephants were killed, these were from a starting point of millions of elephants.
Walker greatly overestimates the current number of elephants remaining in the wild. In central Africa, scientists showed earlier this year that we lost 62 percent of African forest elephants between 2002 and 2011. More....