The original article in Chinese can be found in the following link: http://news.xinhuanet.com/politics/2014-01/06/c_118851657.htm
Journalists: Liu Yang Yang, Wang Xi, Han Qiao
On the 6th, the State Forestry Department and Customs Department held an event called: “Destruction of Confiscated Ivory In China”, where 6.1 tonnes of ivory were publicly crushed, making it the 1st time China has publicly destroyed confiscated ivory. What is the significance of this activity? What improvements has China done when it comes to its fight against illegal ivory trade? Reporters interviewed Zhang Jian Long, the Deputy Director of State Forestry Administration
Question: For China to hold the “Destruction of Confiscated Ivory in China” event, what was its main consideration and what is the significance of this activity?
Answer: Protecting wildlife and taking care of the whole world has become a strong desire and common behavior for mankind, as it is related to the survival and development of human beings. However, due to various reasons, there exists an excessive and unsustainable practice worldwide of eating and smuggling wildlife, the phenomena operations of illegal wildlife products supply is serious, including smuggling of ivory trade among the endangered species which has become very rampant, which has threatened the survival of the African elephant and the sustainable development of other wild animals, resulting to having an impact on the global ecological security of significant risks.
In this regard, the world must take urgent action and make joint efforts so as to strengthen the protection of law enforcement in cracking down on illegal wildlife practices so as to fundamentally curb the illegal trade momentum.
China is a big responsible country and it attaches great importance and vigorously promotes wildlife conservation. This time, the State Forestry Administration and the Customs Department jointly held “Destruction of Confiscated Ivory In China” activity, publicly crushing 6.1 tonnes of ivory, which further goes ahead to demonstrate that the Chinese government firmly opposes and is cracking down on the illegal wildlife trade and is determined to raise public awareness to protect and strengthen the law enforcement agencies in the enforcement of law in duties at all levels, promote international coordination and cooperation of law enforcement, so as to protect wild animals together and seriously work on fighting the illegal trade of wildlife products as well as taking practical action to boost wildlife conservation globally. This activity to destroy ivory is of great importance to our country and the world of wildlife conservation as well, and will promote positive use
Question: What measures has China taken to combat illicit wildlife trade? How have the results been?
Answer: Combating illegal wildlife trade has always been the main agenda of China’s wildlife conservation work in which a variety of practical and effective measures have been taken. These measures are as follows:
- The Chinese law on illegal sale of ivory, purchase, transportation, smuggling of wild animal parts and products among other acts, made several severe punishment provisions; not only to confiscate the kind, illegal income, imposing of fines equivalent to 10 times the value of the product in possession of, but also punishable by up to life imprisonment.
- China has established forestry, police, customs and other multi-sectoral composition of industrial and commercial wildlife conservation law enforcement systems and the inter-ministerial coordination system, and is constantly improving law enforcement tools so as to improve the quality of law enforcement officers and strengthen inspections in the markets, detection of cases and establishment of hotline reporting, timely analysis of the illegal wildlife trade dynamics, and conducting joint inspections and enforcement crackdowns.
- China has actively been promoting international cooperation in the illegal wildlife trade fight through pragmatic action, including: funding Southeast Asia, Africa and other countries to China to attend training relevant personnel to strengthen bilateral exchanges and law enforcement information exchange, and joint implementation of international co-led combat actions. In addition, China has also actively promoted and participated in CITES work and so on. Especially early last year in partnership with Asia, Africa and the Americas, 22 countries for the illegal wildlife trade activities across continents, China successfully carried out “Operation Cobra”, dispatched a large number of police, seized from smuggling cases and timely punishment of criminals who are arrested with a large number of endangered species and their products. The move led to the special recognition of CITES.
- China has long insisted on strengthening the conservation education. Arguments by experts, exposure to cases, special events, sending SMS and other forms, extensive public education to promote public awareness regarding conservation can be greatly improved.
Question: In the future, in what aspects will China improve its fight against illegal wildlife trade?
Answer: From the present situation, the excessive eating of wild animals and smuggling of wildlife products, illegal supply of wildlife products and other products is yet to be fundamentally curbed in China. In connection with the above description, the future will be handled through a series of measures to further increase crackdowns on the illegal wildlife trade.
On the one hand, we will further improve coordination between law enforcement mechanisms and strengthen comprehensive remediation. In effectively strengthening the distribution of wildlife rangers in the protected areas, while at the same time strengthening the restaurant, flower market and other business premise inspections and closely monitor by electronically tracking the sales network platforms of the wildlife products thus regulate the transporting of wildlife products and products. In the law enforcement inspection process, much focus had been put on tiger, leopard, elephant, rhino and other rare and endangered species and major cases of organized crime. Poaching of wild animals and their products on the illicit trade area or the more serious aspects, timely crackdown on the organizations, the momentum will firmly curb the rampant criminal activities.
On the other hand, improving the laws, regulations and management system, establishing long-term mechanisms to combat illegal wildlife trade. Strengthening conservation law enforcement responsibility and law enforcement agencies to promote the protection and management team building, improve the overall level of wildlife protection and law enforcement supervision, standardize the management of wild animal domestication, breeding and management and utilization activities, and maintain high pressure on the ivory smuggling and other illegal and criminal activities a situation.
At the same time, we will continue to strengthen the conservation education and public education through a variety of channels, in various forms, to encourage the public to consciously desist from buying wild animals and products and form a good prevention and treatment system.
Translated by Chris Kiarie