Last week, 37 NGOs, including the Fondation Franz Weber, sent a letter to the French Ministry of Ecology demanding immediate measures be taken to curb the ivory trade and its catastrophic consequences for African elephants. On 28 January 2015, the Ministry called a meeting in Paris to bring together the representatives of the organisations who signed the letter. The FFW took part in this meeting.
The action was effective, as the same day, the Minister of Ecology Ségolène Royal announced the ministry's decision to immediately suspend the export of elephant tusks from France, as well as her strong desire to fight the ivory trade.
During the meeting, the NGOs expressed their deep concern about the epidemic of poaching currently sweeping Africa, and about the growing demand for ivory coming from Asia, in particular China. There, a kilo of ivory can fetch record prices of EUR 7000.
The sale of raw ivory in France - and all of Europe - and its export feed speculation on ivory and the Asian demand for it. Ivory distributors in Asia use the cover of legal ivory to sell illegal stocks.
The measures taken by France should serve as an example for the rest of Europe. Another positive development is France's statement regarding its willingness to continue destroying seized ivory stocks in 2015. This type of media action sends a clear message to traffickers and poachers: the ivory seized has no value and its sale will not be tolerated.
For more information, see:
Ivory trafficking: 37 NGOs point the finger at France, 20 January 2015
Ivory trafficking: 37 NGOs point the finger at France / follow-up 1, 20 January 2015 - 11:00 p.m.
French Ministry of Ecology Press Release - 28/01/15