Tag Archives: CITES

Belgium to Destroy Its Illegal Ivory Next Month

By Denise Chow, Staff Writer   |   March 26, 2014 03:57pm ET

Belgium is slated to destroy its entire stockpile of illegal ivory next month, joining the United States, China and several other countries in taking a stand against wildlife trafficking.

Earlier this month, Belgian Deputy Prime Minister Laurette Onkelinx announced plans to destroy all the illegal ivory seized by customs, on April 9. A special ceremony will be held to mark the occasion, with dignitaries from the Belgian government present.

Onkelinx made the announcement March 3 at an event celebrating Belgium’s involvement in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), which is an international treaty to protect endangered plants and animals. [In Images: 100 Most Threatened Species]

“The Belgian government should be saluted for taking a firm and public stand on ivory trafficking and working to save the world’s threatened elephants,” Sonja Van Tichelen, European Regional Director of the International Fund for Animal Welfare, said in a statement.

Rampant ivory poaching is causing precipitous declines in elephant populations, and the Wildlife Conservation Society estimates that 96elephants are killed each day by poachers in Africa. The ivory trade was banned in 1989, but the demand for ivory now is higher than ever, and lucrative black markets have emerged around the world.

“Not only are we losing an elephant every 15 minutes but the ivory trade is undercutting law and order in elephant range states and enriching organized crime syndicates — the slaughter of elephants must be stopped,” Van Tichelen said.

Belgium is set to join several other countries that recently destroyed their stockpiles of ivory. In February, France crushed more than 15,000 pieces of ivory, which included carvings, jewelry and other trinkets that were confiscated by customs agents.

In January, China, the world’s biggest consumer of illegal ivory, joined the effort by crushing 6 tons of its own ivory tusks and carved ornaments. The United States destroyed its ivory stockpile — collected from more than 25 years of confiscations and smuggling busts by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service — in November.

Officials in Hong Kong also announced their plan to burn more than 30 tons of elephant tusks and ivory products throughout the first half of this year. Recently, officials with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Vietnam announced they are considering crushing the country’s stores of rhino horn, elephant ivory and tiger bone.

This article can be found in the following link: http://www.livescience.com/44399-belgium-ivory-crush.html

Japanese appetite for ivory fuels poaching epidemic

Poorly controlled ivory sales in Japan are encouraging illegal trade in elephant tusks and large amounts of ivory are entering the domestic market.

Online selling and weak controls on domestic ivory sales in Japan are spurring illegal international trade in elephant tusks and contributing to a steep rise in poaching, activists said.

A lack of rules regulating the registration of raw ivory and the licensing of importers, wholesalers, manufacturers and retailers has allowed illicit stocks into Japan’s domestic market, according to the report by the independent London-based Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA).

Under current rules, only whole elephant tusks must be registered with Japan’s Environmental Agency.

“Japan’s ivory controls are flawed and there is evidence that large amounts of illegal ivory … have been laundered into the domestic market,” said the report, which was co-authored by animal welfare group Humane Society International.

Urgent response required

“The current African elephant poaching crisis requires an urgent and swift response before populations are wiped out. The flourishing domestic ivory markets of Japan and China are now the key driving force behind Africa’s poaching epidemic and global illegal ivory trade.”

According to a 2013 study by the University of Washington, the annual number of African elephants being slaughtered to supply the illegal ivory trade is estimated to be as high as 50,000, or roughly one sixth of the continent’s remaining elephant population.

International trade in ivory is illegal under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), but its growth is being fuelled by legal domestic markets in countries such as Japan and China, where trade is being supported by the advance of e-commerce.

US President Barack Obama in February announced new restrictions on the commercial import of African elephant ivory, as well as on what sport hunters can bring back to the country.

Much of the ivory imported into Japan goes into making traditional name stamps, called hankos, that are used in lieu of signatures on documents.

Sales and advertisements stopped

The EIA said between 2005 and 2010, illegal ivory accounted for up to 87%of ivory hankos produced in Japan.

It named Japanese website Rakuten Ichiba as the world’s top marketplace for elephant ivory, citing more than 28 000 advertisements for products. Rakuten Ichiba is Japan’s biggest online shopping site with more than 87 million members.

Rakuten Ichiba is owned by Japan-headquartered Rakuten Group , which also owns British based Play.com, Canadian e-reader firm Kobo, and has a stake in social media site Pinterest.

Rakuten Group did not respond to several requests for comment.

“Amazon and Google have stopped all sales or advertisements of whale, dolphin and ivory through their Japanese e-commerce sites, and Rakuten must do the same,” the EIA said.

The article can be found in the following link:

http://www.health24.com/Lifestyle/Environmental-health/Animals/Japanese-appetite-for-ivory-fuels-poaching-epidemic-20140320

Kenya: Fighting Wildlife Security Threats

BY STEVE NJUMBI AND PAULA KAHUMBU, 13 MARCH 2014 On 31st January 2014 the Cabinet Secretary for Water, Environment and Natural Resources, Professor Judy Wakhungu appointed a 15 person task force on wildlife security chaired by Ambassador Nehemiah Rotich. The overall purpose of the task force is to identify the security threats to wildlife and their habitats, and examine the effectiveness of existing protection measures for wildlife across the country. The mandate of the team is to examine security arrangements, including human resources and capacity, equipment and facilities, and it extends beyond current threats to include emerging challenges. The team will not restrict their investigations to KWS operations, but will also look at other agencies involved in jointly managed areas including forests, ports and private conservancies. They will evaluate anti-poaching systems funding, morale, and even the public image of state agencies. By expanding the mandate to include such diverse factors, in effect what this team is doing is a detailed risk assessment for wildlife. After three months of research, data gathering, public hearings, and meetings, the team will compile a report with appropriate recommendations on strategies to strengthen the security management of wildlife and their habitats, including systems re-engineering. Importantly, the task force has the flexibility to gather information in whichever way it may find most appropriate to get this work done. Given the enormity of the crisis facing elephants and rhinos in Kenya, where rhino poaching has doubled in the last 12 months, and Kenya’s rise to become the world’s No. 1 country for transit of ivory, the importance of this investigation can hardly be overstated. Once renowned worldwide as the country where elephants were best protected, Kenya is now at the bottom of the bucket. Poachers are in control of vast landscapes, rangers are ill equipped, ill paid, and demoralized; those rangers who still go out on patrol risk being killed. Land from parks is being grabbed for highways, bridges and cities, while habitats in buffer zones and wildlife corridors are being destroyed. At the rate we are going, Kenya could see herself being sanctioned by CITES within the year, and by 2030 we will only have 2 of the big five remaining. We need to turn the situation around, and we need to do it now.

The announcement of this task of force is hugely welcomed by Kenyans from all walks of life. By our reading, the work is not limited to addressing the security operations of the KWS, but the safety of our wildlife and whatever affects it. The task is huge and feels almost impossible, but the opportunity is equally monumental. The findings of this task force could provide the key evidence that is required to effect strategic changes in KWS and transform the prospects of wildlife in Kenya. This is why we are volunteering to assist the team. Despite an atmosphere of threats and intimidation in the past, we will face the panels, share information and ideas, and be part of a process that transforms not only our wildlife but our country. We therefore encourage anyone who cares about the future of Kenya to volunteer information that can help the Task Force in their work. With objective pubic involvement, the task Force can inject into Kenyans legitimate ownership and responsibility to transform KWS into the organization that delivers this change. Bold structural and strategic reforms are badly needed for KWS to be able to meet it’s conservation mandate in the 21 st Century. If there ever was a moment in time to be patriotic it is now. It’s not just because it’s the right thing to do, it’s also the right time to do it. We have a First Lady who speaks out, a supportive president who changes laws, an enthusiastic and competent Cabinet Secretary, a KWS that is willing to change, and a public who really do care. It is our belief that only Kenyans can turn around the fortunes of wildlife, and we are proud to be part of the team that will deliver that dream. By being fearless we hope to infect others with our courage and determination to make Kenya safe for wildlife the world’s No. 1 nature tourism destination. The views expressed are the writers’ own and do not reflect those of their organisations. Paula Kahumbu is the CEO of WildlifeDirect while Steve Njumbi is the head of programmes, International Fund for Animal Welfare.
The above article can be found in the following link: http://allafrica.com/stories/201403130799.html?page=2

Police Issues Arrest Warrants Seized Ivory Dealers

Stephen Muneza, RedPepper
March 3, 2014

Police has issued two arrest warrants for two businessmen connected to the 832 pieces of ivory that were impounded by the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) in October last year.

The arrest warrants have been issued against a Kenyan national Owino Odhiambo, who owns Silver Shipping Limited, a Kenyan registered company that was destined to receive the ivory and also export it to China.

The second arrest warrant is for a Congolese national Kayumba Emile Ogane. Ogane claimed the impounded ivory while it was with the URA. Ogane is the director of Ogane Company Limited which instituted the proceedings in the High Court at Nakawa. Ogane has however never appeared in person in Uganda.

The two arrest warrants have been forwarded to Interpol to arrest and bring the persons for prosecution.

They are wanted for the concealment of ivory that was smuggled through the DRC-Uganda border post of Bunagana. It is alleged that the Ivory was not declared to the customs officials at the border post. The 2.9 tonnes of ivory were being transported in a Congolese trailer registration number CGO 6816 AB19.

Congolese businessman Emile Ogano hired David Ochaya to be his transport agent. Ochaya then used Ocean Freight East Africa Limited containers and delivered the ivory undocumented to the inland container depot at Bweyogerere. While arguing the case before the Nakawa High Court, the lawyers of Emile Ogane said that their client had concealed the goods to hide them from the naked eye of the robbers, an argument that the court judge Masalu Musene accepted.
Last month, the judge ordered URA to return the impounded ivory to Ogane.

Interpol Director Arsan Kasingye said Interpol would embark on the search of the suspects to deliver them to the arms of Justice.

The environmental crime desk of Interpol in Lyon, France has since expressed concern at the fate of the ivory.

To import and export ivory, one has to get a licence from the home country and also a permit to trade in ivory from CITES or the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.

In October last year, URA impounded a container of 822 pieces of ivory; approximately 2.9 tonnes. The ivory was destined to go to Owino Odhiambo, a Kenyan national. After it was impounded, a Congolese national, Kayumba Emile Ogane claimed the ivory from the URA and instituted a suit for its release. In a landmark ruling, the high court Judge Masalu Musene ordered for its release, a judgement that has been widely contested by both the Uganda Wildlife Authority and URA.

URA has lodged an appeal at the Court of Appeal.

Police to defy court ruling on impounded ivory

By Jeff Andrew Lule, New Vision

Mar 03, 2014

Police plan to block the return of a consignment of seized ivory to a dealer as instructed by Justice Wilson Masalu Musene.

On Friday, the director of Interpol Uganda, Asan Kasingye said despite the court’s ruling, they will not allow to release the ivory easily in respect of Uganda’s commitment towards the conservation of the endangered species within the East African Customs and international convention.

Uganda Revenue Authority impounded 836 pieces of ivory in October last year, weighing approximately 3000kgs. The ivory was concealed in a container belonging to Ken Freight Forwarders in Bweyogerere, Wakiso district at the time of seizure.

Kasingye said though the owner Emille Kayumba Ogane, a Congolese national, claims to have imported the ivory from Congo through Bunagana border post lawfully, they need him to come and clearly explain how and where he got the ivory.

“It is very unfair to make such a ruling because someone claimed to have got the ivory from elsewhere. The world was very surprised with the ruling and all eyes are watching us. Can you imagine over 400 elephants were killed to get this ivory,” Kasingye said.

Kasingye stressed that the trade in ivory contravenes with the East African Customs Management Act 2004 and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species that puts stringent conditions on dealing in such endangered species.

“We think this case needed more time to work with all stakeholders before coming to a conclusion,” he noted.

UWA And URA Appeal Court Ruling On Impounded Ivory

Uganda Radio Network

March 1, 2014

In a statement issued to the media, Dr. Maria Mutagamba, the Minister of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities says the decision by the High Court judge is against the laws in a country that outlaws trade in ivory and other protected species.
Uganda Wildlife Authority and Uganda Revenue Authority have lodged an appeal against the Nakawa High Court ruling ordering the tax body to release 2.9 tones of impounded ivory to Emile Kasumba Ogane. On October 17th, 2013, URA impounded a container with 832 pieces Ivory at Ken freight Inland Container Depot-ICD in Bweyogerere. The consignment was taken to URA customs stores for safe custody pending investigations of the matter and possible reprimand of the culprits.

Police was also notified for purposes of investigation to find the source of the ivory and have the people involved arrested and prosecuted. Preliminary investigations led by police Owino Odhiambo, Kenya national and a Congolese national Emille Kayumba Ogane. The Kampala Chief Magistrates court at Kampala issued arrest warrants for the said suspects and the police and other security agencies are still searching for the whereabouts of the suspects for purposes of effecting arrest.

UWA accused the suspects of acquiring or having possession of prohibited goods contrary to Section 200(d)(i) of the East African Community Customs Management Act 2004, and Being in illegal possession of wildlife protected species without permission contrary to the provisions of the Uganda wildlife Act. However, through Geoffrey Nagumya and Company Advocates, Ogane filed an application in court demanding the release of his ivory consignment arguing that he had a license to trade in the contraband goods from DR Congo government.

He also argued that the impounded Ivory was in transit to Mombasa and therefore could not be affected by the East African Customs Regulations and Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. In his ruling on Monday, Justice Wilson Masalu Musene concurred with the applicant and ordered for the unconditional release of the 832 pieces of ivory. However, the ruling didn’t go down well with Uganda Wildlife Authority and Uganda Revenue Authority who said they could not allow the decision to go unchallenged.

In a statement issued to the media, Dr. Maria Mutagamba, the Minister of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities says the decision by the High Court judge is against the laws in a country that outlaws trade in ivory and other protected species. She says the decision also goes against the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. She says a team of lawyers from both UWA and URA have already launched an appeal. Mutagamba says their lawyers have also applied for an injunction to stay the execution of the court order.

Below is the full statement;

MINISTRY OF TOURISM, WILDLIFE AND ANTIQUITIES

PRESS STATEMENT ON THE RULING OF JUSTICE WILSON MASALU MUSENE IN MISCELLANEOUS CAUSE NO.49 OF 2013 KAYUMBA EMILE OGANE VS UGANDA REVENUE AUTHORITY OVER IVORY TRAFFICKING

We have received with shock; the ruling of Justice Wilson Masalu Musene that Uganda Revenue Authority should hand over confiscated ivory to their owners (criminal suspects who are on the run and have arrest warrants issued against them). The sector is in great shock over the ruling.
This case was filed by one Kayumba Emile Ogane against URA seeking orders for release of 832 pieces of Ivory confiscated by URA, that the Uganda Police, Uganda wildlife Authority and all other authorities in Uganda give effect to the release order.
Background to this case
On 17th October 2013, we received information from URA that a container with 832 Ivory had been discovered at Ken freight Inland Container Deposit (ICD) Bweyogerere. We immediately sent a team of law enforcement officers and wildlife experts from Uganda Wildlife Authority in company of police, who confirmed that the items were indeed ivory. The consignment was then taken to URA customs stores for safe custody pending the investigations of the matter and possible reprimand of the culprits.
The matter was accordingly reported to police for purposes of investigation to find the source of the ivory and to have the people involved arrested and prosecuted. The suspects identified by the preliminary findings were Owino Odhiambo (Kenyan national) and Kayumba Emille Ogane (Congolese national) who are still at large. The Chief Magistrates court at Kampala issued arrest warrants for the said suspects and the police and other security agencies are still searching for the whereabouts of these suspects for purposes of effecting arrest.

Offences committed by the suspects
Acquiring or having possession of prohibited goods contrary to Section 200(d)(i) of the East African Community Customs Management Act 2004,
Being in illegal possession of wildlife protected species without permission contrary to the provisions of the Uganda wildlife Act.
Status of the Criminal case
The investigations were completed, the file was sanctioned for prosecution, an agent of Kayumba Ogane, one Ocaya David was arraigned before court for prosecution as an accomplice to the commission of these offences under this matter, but was released on bail.
The main suspects Owino Odhiambo (Kenyan national) and Kayumba Emille Ogane (Congolese national) are still at large and the police and other security agencies are looking for them including Interpol and LATF.
At national level, Uganda as sovereign State, prohibited any dealing in wildlife species and specimens without permission and specifically prohibits possession, trade, import, export, re-export and re-import of wildlife products and species including ivory.
Elephants are listed among the highly endangered wildlife species under the United Nations Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species to which Uganda is party and bound by the resolutions. Any unauthorized trade in ivory and other related products is prohibited.
High Court Miscellaneous Cause No.49 of 2013 Kayumba Emile Ogane Vs Uganda Revenue Authority
As a ploy to defeat the efforts of the various agencies in investigating the illegal possession and purported transportation of illegal ivory, and to frustrate the prosecution of the offenders in the above case, the suspects through their lawyers decided to file the above suit seeking for unconditional release of the said ivory.
Hon. Justice Wilson Masalu Musene unfortunately agreed with the applicant that the ivory was unlawfully confiscated and ordered that the same be immediately released.
It is however very unfortunate and dismaying that such a ruling would be given with total disregard to the requirements of the law before such consignments can be allowed to transit which were never complied with.
It is also important to note that any import, export or re-export of wildlife species require clearance by the relevant countries Management and Scientific authority CITES which is the Ministry of Tourism Wildlife and Antiquities and Uganda Wildlife Authority respectively but which was never complied with. It is a legal requirement that any import, export or re-export of any wildlife species and or specimens through Uganda requires clearance by both Uganda Wildlife Authority and the Ministry of Tourism Wildlife and Antiquities which I represent.
The suspect concealed the said goods and never declared to URA at customs points and only disguised the same as coffee meant for export. If the ruling of the honorable Justice is implemented, it will contravene the law and will cause absurdity to conservation as it will be setting terrible precedent by giving poachers and illegal wildlife traders a blanket protection.
Conclusion
We are very dismayed by the said Judgment and the likely implications it has for Uganda as a contracting Party to CITES Convention. But most importantly, the damage this has on tourism development and wildlife conservation in Uganda.
A team of lawyers of Uganda Wildlife Authority and Uganda Revenue Authority have already filed a notice of Appeal to challenge the Judgment
Application for an interim order to stay execution of the judgment and filing of the appeal will also be immediately done.
We shall decisively pursue the criminal prosecution of suspects (Owners of the confiscated ivory) until they are brought to book. Security Agencies continue to pursue these suspects who are at large.
I want to call upon all the organs of the State to proactively support Government effort to stamp out illegal wildlife trade and trade and trafficking in order to conserve our heritage and its associated tourism development which is a vehicle for social transformation of our economy.
For God and My Country

Hon. Dr. Maria Mutagamba
Minister

SHANGHAI CUSTOMS CRACKS UP LARGEST IVORY SMUGGLING CASE IN ITS IMMIGRATION CHANNELS SINCE THE AIRPORT WAS CONSTRUCTED.

The original article can be found in the following link: http://www.chinanews.com/sh/2014/02-12/5830206.shtml

上海海关破获建关以来最大旅检渠道象牙走私案

 

12/02/2014. Shanghai Customs gather to build the largest haul ever in Shanghai Pudong International Airport in an immigration channel ivory smuggling case. The original whole tusks seized were eight whole tooth roots, truncated African elephant ivory and nearly 200 segmented ivory products, a total weight of 95.82 kg, and arrested 2 suspects of Chinese nationality. Photo issued by China news agency photographer Cheng Nan.

On the 12th of February, the Shanghai Customs came together to build the largest ivory haul ever to be done from the tourist ivory smuggling channels. A total of 8 whole ivory tusks were seized, truncated African ivory and nearly 200 segmented ivory products, with a total weight of 95.82kg, whereby 2 suspects, both of Chinese origin were arrested.

According to reports, the suspects Yang and his accomplice Zhu had access to ivory in Africa at low costs and planned to bring the ivory to China so as to reap high profits. An ivory tusk in Africa is less than 40,000 yuan (Ksh.600,000) but when it gets to China, it goes for a price of 250,000 yuan (Ksh.3.75 million) and above. A kilogram of raw ivory goes at the rate of 40,000 yuan (Ksh.600,000) in China. Although Yang knew the illegal aspect of the trade, he went on and did it as he was looking at the possibility of the profit that he would get if luck was on his side.

After Yang arrived at the Shanghai Pudong International Airport, the Customs officials implemented a pre-flight passenger inspection and found 4 suitcases with clear ivory like shadows. The officials immediately closed up the suitcases and got the owners’ information from the tags.

20 minutes later, Yang pushed the luggage towards customs without using the custom declaration channels. The customs officials thus started to conduct a check on the luggage, in which they found newspapers filled to the brim of the luggage wrapping raw ivory and ivory products. The sight of what was inside the bags surprised the people at the scene. Yang then confessed to his crime.

According to the customs anti-smuggling police, this is the largest ivory haul ever made at the Shanghai Pudong International Airport since it was built.

Ivory as well as the ivory products are listed in Appendix 1 of the CITES. According to the convention, China’s Customs law and the Wildlife Protection Law, irrespective of the method of carrying and size of the ivory, exportation and importation of ivory has been banned. (End)

Translated by Chris Kiarie

3 tons of seized illegal ivory crushed in Paris

By LORI HINNANT

3 tons of seized illegal ivory crushed in Paris

PARIS (AP) — More than 3 tons of illegal ivory seized by French customs agents was pulverized into dust on Thursday in Europe’s first destruction of a stockpile of the banned elephant tusks.

The destruction of the ivory, confiscated over two decades, was designed to send a message to poachers and traffickers that preservationists hope will help stem the illicit trade that endangers the species’ survival. Other countries doing the same recently include the United States, Gabon and China, ivory’s biggest market.

“Customs seizures can vary from one year to the other — there is a lot of evolution in it — but one thing doesn’t change, that’s the consumer appetite for ivory,” said Sebastien Tiran, a customs agent at Paris’ Roissy Charles de Gaulle airport, where the bulk of the ivory was confiscated.

In 2012, an estimated 22,000 African elephants were poached for their tusks, according to a study prepared by CITES, TRAFFIC International and the SSC African Elephant Specialist Group.

The market price of ivory is more than $1,000 a pound ($2,200 per kilogram) and has more than doubled in the past five years, said Ginette Hemley, vice president of species conservation at the World Wildlife Fund.

Hemley supports the destruction of stockpiles, saying they send a powerful signal that governments will not tolerate or profit from illegal ivory. But she acknowledged that simply destroying seized stocks will not be enough to tamp down demand, which she said has grown exponentially since 2009.

“It’s not all going to happen overnight,” she said. But Hemley said when poached ivory was first banned in 1989, it took two or three years before prices dropped dramatically, as did the number of elephants killed for their tusks.

Prices rose again beginning a decade later, driven by demand in China, and the profits began attracting attention from criminal syndicates. Critics of the stockpile destructions say they can backfire by decreasing supply and raising prices.

“These burnings of stockpiles are actually attracting more criminals into it,” said Dan Stiles, a researcher in Kenya who studies the ivory trade and is a member of the African Elephant Specialist Group. “These people are speculators. They’re banking on extinction.”

The above article can be found in the following link: http://news.yahoo.com/3-tons-seized-illegal-ivory-crushed-paris-105553149.html

Chinese Embassy in Kenya tells its citizens involvement in illegal wildlife trade is not acceptable

TRAFFIC
January 24, 2014

Nairobi, Kenya, 24th January 2014—China’s Embassy in Nairobi last week hosted an event for Chinese businesses and citizens based in Africa to address the growing issue of illegal wildlife trade and their government’s intention to co-operate with local authorities to investigate, arrest and prosecute offenders.

In 2013 China entered into a partnership with the UN Environment Program to help scale up the fight against elephant poaching in Africa specifically, but also views many other aspects of Africa’s wildlife trade as problematic, including the plight of rhinos and pangolins.

This was the first embassy event in the campaign, which involved outreach to State-owned enterprises as well as independent Chinese nationals living in Kenya. More than 80 members of the local Chinese community attended, including influential business leaders, and the highly successful event was widely reported in local media.

China’s Acting Ambassador in Kenya, Mr Tian Lin, in his keynote speech, urged the Chinese community in Africa to obey the national legislation of their African host countries, noting it was what they would expect of anyone visiting China.

Wan Ziming, Director of Enforcement and Training at the Endangered Species Office of the State Forestry Administration of China, told those present: “The Chinese government will not relent in its support for the fight against illegal trade of wildlife products.”

He also spoke of China’s role in helping implement international obligations under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and of the scaled-up law enforcement efforts currently being implemented in China and globally in support of them.

Bonaventure Ebayi, Director of the Lusaka Agreement Task Force, spoke about the role of the Task Force, levels of wildlife crime in Africa and the new hard-hitting legislation with deterrent penalties recently introduced in Kenya.

TRAFFIC’s Tom Milliken noted that direct Chinese investment in Africa is currently growing by over 20% annually and that China-Africa trade was nearly USD250 billion in 2013.

“Africa’s economic future is now intimately linked with Chinese investment.  The challenge is to make it a win-win of sustainable development, preventing negative impacts on conservation areas with high biodiversity values and halting illicit trade in wildlife products, particularly elephant ivory and rhino horn.”

He said: “Coming hot on the heels of China’s unprecedented ivory destruction event earlier this month, this Africa-based outreach initiative is further evidence that China has made a serious commitment and desires to do the right thing to help address wildlife trafficking.”

TRAFFIC is also supporting initiatives by the government and private sector in China to help curb the demand for illicit wildlife products. This includes messaging at Guangzhou airport targeting the awareness of Chinese travellers going to Africa, as well as a research programme to understand the motivations of illegal wildlife product consumers that will underpin long-term demand reduction efforts.

ZAWA nabs Chinese for possessing ivory bracelets

By YANDE SYAMPEYO, Zambia Daily Mail
January 31, 2014

THE Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) has arrested a Chinese national for being in possession of two ivory hand bracelets without a statutory permit.
Both Zambia and China are party to the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) which prohibits commercial trade on ivory and ivory products.
Yu Yang aged between 45 and 50 years, was arrested on Wednesday at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport as he was about to leave the country via United Arab Emirates.
This is according to a statement released in Lusaka yesterday by ZAWA spokesperson Mwila Muliyunda.
Ms Muliyunda said Yang hid the bracelets in his laptop bag and was apprehended at one of the screening points.
Yang who is an employee of Lusaka’s Camco will appear in court soon.
Ms Muliyunda said with the rise in illegal ivory trade suspected to have been obtained from poached elephants, ZAWA has reinforced sensitisation to ensure culprits are brought to book.