China has announced a ban on all ivory trade and processing activities by the end of 2017. China's State Council announced the details of the ban on Friday. Fondation Franz Weber hails the decision as historic and a game-changer for the future of elephants.
The commercial processing and sale of ivory will stop by 31 March, and all registered traders will then be phased out, bringing a full halt to the market by the end of the year.
The demand for ivory is still high in China, as it is regarded as a status symbol. This has lead once again to a dramatic surge in the killing of elephants over the past seven years, with populations across Africa shrinking by a third, according to the recently published Great Elephant Census.
Fondation Franz Weber (FFW) reagrds the announced ban as wonderful news and as confirmation to its dedicated work. It will dry out worlds largest ivory market. China's decision may be referred to as «positive late effect» of the CITES conference, which took part last fall in Johannesburg.
With the utmost effort FFW has fought for better protection of the elephants, connected with a complete ban of ivory trade worldwide in the past years and continues to do so.
Undoubtedly the achieved improvements in elephant protection during the past CITES conference and the current decision by China are a decisive merit of the relentless work of FFW and its allies in this field.