China bans ivory imports … for 1 year

China has released a notification via CITES that it intends to suspend the import of ivory carvings from February 26th 2015 to February 26th 2016. This affects the ivory that is legally imported into the country – an apparently negligible amount – and the measure has no bearing on the massive illegal ivory trade that still exists in the country.

The interesting quote in the linked article on Chinadialogue.net is that “[s]urveys have found that the most compelling reason given by former ivory buyers for not consuming ivory in the future would be for the government to make the buying of ivory buying illegal in all circumstances” which points to the influence the CCP can have on the illegal ivory trade – as well as, by extension, other illegal trades. Further lobbying from environment groups, as well as campaigns from NGOs, will be needed to increase the pressure on the CCP, and to push the Chinese public to reassess their relationship with ivory.

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