Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Hong Kong Bans Ivory Sales, UK Considers Similar Move

Animals
Pauline Guilmot / Flickr

By Morgan Lynch

Hong Kong banned the sale of ivory on Wednesday, the latest blow to an illegal trade that has brought elephants to the brink of extinction.

The news came as lawmakers in the United Kingdom were considering a similar move, The Guardian reported earlier this month.


Lawmakers in Hong Kong voted for a bill that would abolish the ivory trade by 2021, following China's complete ban on ivory sales that went into effect at the end of last year, the Associated Press reported.

Hong Kong's ban will be enforced in three stages: an initial ban on trade in hunting trophies and ivory dating from after 1975, followed by a ban on the sale of ivory acquired before 1975, and finally, traders would have to dispose of their stock by 2021. The penalties for violators will be increased to a maximum fine of HK$ 10 million (US$ 1.3 million) and up to 10 years in prison.

Conservation groups lauded the move.

"This is just the latest milestone in a global movement to end the global ivory trade and protect elephants in the wild," said M. Sanjayan, CEO of Conservation International, which has worked with communities in Africa for years to help protect the animals. "Other nations considering ivory bans must follow through with strong action, and enforcement must remain a priority for countries that have committed to closing their markets."

An elephant in the Mara North Conservancy in KenyaJon McCormack

According to the most recent statistics from the International Union for Conservation of Nature, at least 36 elephants are killed each day for their ivory. Today, there are only 350,000 African savanna elephants left in the wild, marking a decline of 30 percent in less than a decade. Meanwhile, the illegal wildlife trade has funneled billions of dollars to organized crime networks.

"Elephant populations remain in jeopardy," Sanjayan said, "but today's news provides new hope that the tide is turning in their favor."

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Wave power in Portugal. The oceans' energy potential is immense. Luis Ascenso, via Wikimedia Commons

By Paul Brown

The amount of energy generated by tides and waves in the last decade has increased tenfold. Now governments around the world are planning to scale up these ventures to tap into the oceans' vast store of blue energy.

Read More Show Less
Yellowstone National Park closed to visitors on March 24, 2020 because of the Covid-19 virus threat. William Campbell-Corbis via Getty Images

When the novel coronavirus started to sweep across the country, the National Park Service started to waive entrance fees. The idea was that as we started to practice social distancing, Americans should have unfettered access to the outdoors. Then the parking lots and the visitor centers started to fill up, worrying park employees.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Mike Pence and Donald Trump hold a press conference about the coronavirus outbreak in the press briefing room at the White House on March 23, 2020 in Washington, DC. Drew Angerer / Getty Images

By John R. Platt

Both eyes open. Look for potential threats coming from all sides. Be prepared to change course at a moment's notice.

Read More Show Less
Looking across the Houston Ship Canal at the ExxonMobil Refinery, Baytown, Texas. Roy Luck, CC BY 2.0

By Nick Cunningham

A growing number of refineries around the world are either curtailing operations or shutting down entirely as the oil market collapses.

Read More Show Less
Traffic moves across the Brooklyn Bridge on Aug. 2, 2018 in New York City. Drew Angerer / Getty Images

The Trump administration is expected to unveil its final replacement of Obama-era fuel-efficiency standards for cars and light trucks Tuesday in a move likely to pump nearly a billion more tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere over the lifetime of those less-efficient vehicles.

Read More Show Less