Tag Archives: Chinese government

Stop the carving: How China can help end elephant poaching

JOHN GRUETZNER, The Globe and Mail
Dec. 04 2014
John Gruetzner is the managing director of Intercedent, an Asian-focused investment advisory. He recently researched for the World Wildlife Fund its fund-raising options within China. The views here expressed are personal.
Chinese basketball star Yao Ming’s new documentary The End of the Wild will, ideally, have the impact in Asia that Silent Spring by Rachel Carson had on environmental awareness in the West.
For this shift to happen in sufficient enough time to save the elephant is contingent on major changes in government policy and also empowering Chinese citizens to join the war against poaching of elephants.
Chinese government indifference still sadly permits the legal carving of elephant tusks that drives the poaching of 70 per cent of the 33,000 African elephants killed annually.
If the wealthy could purchase Panda skins legally, this would rightly offend the Chinese people and be strongly condemned. Elephants are just as important culturally, and as natural a symbol as the Panda.
Wildaid’s slogan is Stop the Killing Now. A corollary is to achieve must be Stop the Carving Now. China’s ivory carving’s industry defense is that it relies only on legally sourced tusks. Incontrovertible evidence proves there is widespread mixing of legal and poached ivory.
Carving of dead elephant parts and all retail sales of ivory of any kind to lower total demand need to be banned worldwide starting in China. Funding the retraining of unemployed carvers will prevent the industry from going underground. Closing down the sale and carving of ivory at the 37 approved factories and 145 retail sites would be a major disruption to the total global demand for tusks.
Bold action long these lines would set a positive example to other countries in the same business. Sending a clear message to tourists that lowers off-shore purchases from Chinese will reduce the amount of tusks that are poached. Further work within China to educate people of the consequences such as supporting of terrorism tied to of smuggling illegal wildlife is essential.
China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs have to step up further to inform Chinese citizens of the implications of purchasing ivory abroad. Chinese diplomats in countries with elephants can expand their co-ordination with local police and custom’s authorities to stop smuggling.
Access to tusks needs to be made harder, expensive and risky to poachers and smugglers by expanding the financial support given to protect parks. Funds could be donated by the Chinese government to support the World Wildlife Fund, African Parks and The Earth Organization.
Chinese citizen’s donations to this cause can easily be encouraged. The Chinese government’s contribution would be to identify which legitimate non-governmental organizations that protect endangered species are permitted to solicit donations within China. Donations by Chinese citizens, using their individual yearly foreign exchange quota of $50,000, could easily solve this crisis. People that can afford Prada and Rolex can easily afford to contribute to protect global biodiversity.
Confucius stressed the virtue of not imposing. Poaching is negatively impacting China’s friendship with African countries. Soft power often requires hard political decisions to be implemented domestically.
The current Five Year Plan commitment to cleaning up of massive environmental problems, including stricter fines on polluters and substantial reductions of greenhouse gas, was highlighted during bi-lateral commitments made with the United States during the recent APEC summit.
Adopting the elephant as a national symbol of environmental protection will foster a domestic environmental movement to help support the greening of China called for by the government. It offers a unique opportunity to convince international sceptics that the Chinese Communist Party’s commitment to the environment is improving. China’s government can contribute to the important education of the public that basketball star Yao Ming and Jacky Chan the actor undertake.
Saving elephants is potentially a new icon for Chinese citizens to appreciate the value of nature and the importance of environmental protection. Elephants could play the same role in China that the Panda logo of the WWF has had globally. Protection of wildlife and our health are linked to the quality of the environment. Saving elephants presents an opportunity to vitalize indigenous Taoism – or in western terminology foster a new sense of romantic naturalism.

 

Influential Chinese business leaders say no to ivory

February 2014
Wildlife Extra News

More than 30 business leaders in China have taken a public stand against the ivory trade by signing a pledge to never purchase, possess, or give ivory as a gift.

The group includes Charles Chao, CEO of Sina Corp., China’s largest Internet portal, Liu Chuanzhi, Chair of Lenovo, and 10 individuals from the Forbes 2013 China Rich List including Jack Ma, founder of the Alibaba Group. “As China grows up, Chinese companies should do the same and take on more social responsibility,” said WildAid China Chair, Huang Nubo who spearheaded the campaign. “This is why we are joining efforts to protect our planet’s wildlife. We hope this ethic becomes engrained in us and is passed down to future generations.”

The Chinese government crushed more than six tonnes of its ivory stockpile earlier this year and is considering ending legal ivory sales, which have been shown to enable laundering of poached ivory.

Ivory Pledge

In recent years, poaching as a result of the trade in illegal ivory is posing enormous threats to the survival of elephants. I’m aware of the following:

1. Each year around 25,000 African elephants are killed for their ivory2. The population of elephants has declined 62% in the last 10 years3. Rampant elephant poaching is having negative impacts on the economy, tourism, and national security of many African nations4. Terrorist groups in Africa are being supported in part through the illegal ivory trade5. According to official reports and statistics, China is the largest importer of illegal ivory, and Chinese nationals are increasingly involved in the illegal ivory trade6. Illegal ivory trade is damaging China’s international reputation.  Because of this, I pledge the following: 1. I will not purchase, possess, or give ivory as a gift2. I will encourage friends, family, and employees to not purchase ivory products Signatories
Cao Guowei (Charles Chao) – CEO, Sina Corp

Deng Feng – CEO and Chairman, Beiji Guangfeng Investment Fund Ding Liguo – Founder, Liguo Corp. Feng Lun – Chairman, Vantone Holdings Huang Nubo – Chairman, Zhongkun GroupJiang Xipei – Chairman, Yuandong HoldingsLi Dongsheng – Chairman, TCL Group Li Shufu – Chairman, Geely Group Li Zhenfu – China Regional President, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Liu Chuanzhi – Chairman, Lenovo Liu Donghua – Founder, Zhenghedao Group Liu Jiren – Chairman, Dongruan Group Liu Jun – Deputy Chairman, Guangxi People’s Congress CommitteeMa Yun (Jack Ma) – Founder, Alibaba Group Niu Gensheng – Founder, Lao Niu Foundation Shen Guojun – CEO and Chairman, Yintai Holdings Corp. Tang Yue – Founding Partner, Blue Mountain China Capital Wang Chaoyong – Founder and President, Xinzhongli International Holdings Wang Junhao – Deputy Chairman, Junyao Group Wang Lifen – Founder, Beijing Youshimi Internet Technology Co. Ltd.Wang Wenjing – CEO and Chairman, Yongyou Software Corp.Wang Zhongjun – Chairman, Huaiyi Brothers Media Corp. Wu Jianmin – Deputy Director, China External Affairs Committee Wu Yajun – Chairman, Longhu Group Xia Hua – Chairman, Yiwen Enterprise Group Xie Mian – Art and culture criticXu Shaochun – Founder, Jindie Software GroupXu Zhihong – Scholar, China Academy of ScienceYang Shaopeng – Chairman, Haifeng International Shipping Corp.Yu Minhong – Founder, New Oriental GroupYuan Yue – Chaiman, Lingdian Consulting Zhang Weiying – Renowned Economist Zhang Xingsheng ( Jim Zhang) – Managing Directory, The Nature Conservancy Greater China Region Zhou Qiren – Dean, Peking University National Development AcademyZhou Qifeng – Renowned Chemist Zhu Xinli – Chairman, Beijing Huiyuan Beverage Company

Chinese arrested with 3kg ivory at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (Kenya)

By CYRUS OMBATI, Standard Digital

January 19th 2014
NAIROBI, KENYA: A Chinese national was Saturday arrested at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport after being found with 3.4 kilograms of ivory.
The 40-year-old man was found with the lower ivory while from Napula, Mozambique to Guangzhou, China. His plane had touched down at JKIA and was to connect when he was seized.
Police said the ivory was in his luggage and had been packaged in disguise as cups.
Airport CID boss Joseph Ngisa said the arrest was made on Saturday evening and that the man will appear in court today to face charges of being in possession of the ivory.
“We are seeing an increase of these suspects originating Mozambique with the ivory but we are keen to stop the practice,” said Ngisa.
His arrest came two days after another Chinese national was arrested with ivory, leopards’ skin and multiple passports. He is believed to be behind a number of cases of smuggling of people and ivory in the country, police said.
The 41-year-old suspect was arrested at an apartment Thursday with goods valued at millions of shillings in the posh Riverside estate, Nairobi.
This comes even as Kenya and Chinese government are collaborating to fight poaching and illegal trade of wildlife.
The international trade in elephant ivory, with rare exceptions, has been outlawed since 1989 after elephant populations in Africa dropped from millions in the mid-20th century to some 600,000 by the end of the 1980s. Ivory trade is banned under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). East African nations have recently recorded an increase in poaching incidents.
The illegal ivory trade is mostly fuelled by demand in Asia and the Middle East, where elephant tusks and rhinoceros horns are used to make ornaments and in traditional medicines.
Africa is home to an estimated 472,000 elephants, whose survival is threatened by poaching and the illegal trade in game trophies, as well as a rising human population that is causing habitat loss. To demonstrate the seriousness and commitment to end the menace, China recently crushed six tones of the ivory.

CHINA PUBLICLY CRUSHES IVORY WITH THE MESSAGE: WE DO NOT NEED IVORY

CHINA PUBLICLY CRUSHES IVORY WITH THE MESSAGE: WE DO NOT NEED IVORY.

06/01/2014

This original link for this article can be found in this link: http://www.chinanews.com/gn/2014/01-06/5698875.shtml

According to an article on China media, this afternoon, the State Forestry Administration and the General Administration of Customs of China will hold a public destruction of confiscated ivory in  event in Guangzhou, China. It is reported that the amount of ivory that will be publicly destroyed is 6.1 tons. This is the first time China has publicly destroyed ivory, demonstrating the Chinese government firmly opposes and seriously maintains its position on illegal wildlife trade.

According to the State Forestry Demonstration, the event this afternoon, the ivory will be gathered in a neat area, after which it will be destroyed. The event will start at 1530hrs. Then, the staff will take the small ivory materials and products and feed them directly to the crushing machine. For the large tusks, they will first use the chainsaws to cut the ivory to smaller pieces, after which they will then sent to the mill. Due to the amount of ivory to be destroyed and the cutting of ivory into smaller parts before been put into the mill for crushing, the 2 ivory crushers will keep going for several hours to ensure that the ivory has been completely crushed. Another reporter also learned that, after the destruction of this ivory, some of which will be used for public education and public warning exhibition hall of the museum, the rest will be stored centrally.

All along, the ivory was been touted as an investment vehicle, been considered as “white gold” and as a result the prices were soaring all the way. According to insiders, before the year 1990, a kilogram of ivory did not exceed 1000 yuan (ksh.15,000), but now, in the black markets, a kilogram of ivory has risen up to between 20,000 and 30,000 yuan (Ksh. 300,000 and ksh.450,000). Over the last 20 years, the price of ivory has risen to over 30 times.

This time, all the ivory that will be destroyed was confiscated in the illegal ivory trade war, but taking into consideration the commercial value and the use value, online friends are asking: Direct destruction of ivory is a pity, ivory has many uses, why not take advantage of the national income to avoid a wastage of natural resources? Why did the Chinese government have to bear huge losses in an effort to destroy it?

Destruction of ivory is a huge loss for the government, so when a country takes such measures, it also indicates that the government will in the future end this trade. Keeping safe the ivory seized by the government is also a huge task. Huge profits will induce the criminals to take extraordinary actions . Many of the countries that have stockpiles have in the past experienced cases where ivory has been stolen from the stores. Thus the destruction of ivory can save on the manpower and resources to be used to reduce the possibility of induced crime.

In relation to today’s ivory crushing activity, the CITES Secretary General John Scanlon said “I hope that those involved in illegal activities will listen. If you continue to engage in the illegal ivory trade, then eventually will be seized and will face severe punishment. Investments made in the illegal trade will in future be rewarded in form of prison terms, heavy fines and confiscation of property. ”

According to calculations of mature elephants, the ivory grows up to between 1 and 2 meters in length. Therefore so as to get ivory of a total weight of 6 tonnes, it means that up to 40 elephants were brutally killed.

Recently, it was reported that there was a vicious massacre of elephants in Zimbabwe where more than 300 elephants were poisoned using cyanide. At that time, a picture that was taken from the air was startling: elephant carcasses lie all over the park, some of the pictures captured scenes of young elephants lying by the carcasses of their mothers. It is really painful.

The background of every elephant tusk in the illegal ivory trade is a story of bloodshed, and allowing the people to escape punishment for their selfish interests, even after their cruel actions is really cruel. Through investigations, IFAW found out that the international illegal ivory trade chain includes 4 links which are: consumers, poachers, smugglers and the markets. In order to completely destroy the illegal ivory trade chain and protect the elephants, many countries all around the world are taking part in the efforts to end these bloody killings. IFAW’s Asia Director believes that this action by the Chinese government will send a message to the world saying “We do not need Ivory.”

Ge Rui: “Many people who use ivory do not know that this ivory was acquired after an elephants was brutally murdered. Crushing the ivory sends to the whole world an important message: telling the poachers in Africa that the Chinese people do not need ivory. It is also a message to the smugglers, telling them that illegal ivory will in no way be allowed into China, thus to the consumer, the message is deep, that they should make informed decisions when making purchases, and choose the right decisions.”

A professor at the Beijing Normal University’s department of Science Studies Zhang Li, who has been involved in the research and protection of the Asian elephant, has in the recent past been calling for the destruction of ivory as a way of managing the confiscated ivory. He believes that from the action that has been taken by the Chinese government this time, it shows that the Chinese government is determined in fighting the illegal ivory trade on the one side, while on the other side; it can guarantee that these ivory products can’t make their way back into to the market.

Zhang Li: “Through this action to destroy the ivory in the stockpiles, it is an honest message and a sign to the world from the Chinese government showing its stand on the illegal ivory trade. I think that this is a very big sign by the Chinese government. Currently, going by the events in the last 2 years, the African elephants have met a very unfriendly environment where they have been under much attack. In the more than 30 African countries that are monitored by CITES, the data in the last 2 years, that is 2011 and 2012 indicate that the numbers of elephants that have been poached have been higher than the average rate of growth of the natural populations. The African elephant has an annual decrease rate of 2% of the entire population of elephants in Africa.”

The main reasons for this is the fact that because the benefits of the illegal ivory trade are profit driven, it has led to rampant poaching activities, so our country, after The Philippines and America, has taken up to destroy a large stock of confiscated ivory, which means that the Chinese government is determined in its fight against smuggled ivory. (Journalist: Han Xiu)

Article translated by Chris Kiarie.

 

 

 

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Shark Fin Victory May Offer Hope for Elephants

China Digital Times
October 22, 2013

On the China in Africa Podcast, Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden and Huang Hongxiang gloomily discuss prospects for decisive action from Beijing to stop the Chinese-fueled slaughter of elephants for ivory. The problem, Huang suggests, is that the issue has yet to gain momentum among the public.

At The Washington Post, though, Simon Denyer highlights a collapse in demand for shark fins following concerted campaigning and a government crackdown on ostentatious official banquets. This success may yet offer hope for Africa’s elephants.

“People said it was impossible to change China, but the evidence we are now getting says consumption of shark fin soup in China is down by 50 to 70 percent in the last two years,” said Peter Knights, executive director of WildAid, a San Francisco-based group that has promoted awareness about the shark trade. The drop is also reflected in government and industry statistics.

“It is a myth that people in Asia don’t care about wildlife,” Knights said. “Consumption is based on ignorance rather than malice. ”

[…] Buoyed by the results of the shark fin campaign, conservationists are now turning their attention to the trade in ivory and rhino horn. Some 25,000 elephants were poached last year, and 668 rhinos killed in South Africa alone, with China the largest market for ivory, and the second largest for rhino horn behind Vietnam.

[… A]ttitudes can change, and the Chinese government is not intransigent. A major investor in Africa, it does not want to be seen as the reason for widespread insecurity caused by poaching. In September, it started sending text messages to every Chinese cellphone user who touched down in Kenya, warning them to “not carry illegal ivory, rhino horn or any other wildlife.“