Target: Chief Executive of Hong Kong, Leung Chun-ying
Goal: Commend Hong Kong for incinerating 27 metric tonnes of ivory
Hong Kong has a centuries-long tradition of sculpting ivory into religious objects, but now the government is incinerating 27 metric tonnes out of 33 tonnes of confiscated ivory as a message against poaching. Hong Kong’s stockpile is considered one of the largest in the world, and for them to incinerate it tells a straightforward message to poachers – stop hunting our elephants and rhinos.
It is estimated that poachers kill 96 elephants a day in Africa for their tusks. Poaching these animals without a permit is illegal, but because of the high profits in selling ivory, many poachers take this risk. However, the profits are only available because the customers are willing to pay. Recently, the United States and China have taken the initiative to deter such efforts by crushing their own stockpile of ivory. It will take two years for Hong Kong to incinerate all of their ivory, but the country will keep a small amount for potential uses, allowed by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.
The ivory trade, while illegal, is one of the largest trades in the world, amassing billions of dollars. However, it comes at a price, as scientists estimate elephants could disappear from our planet in as little as twenty years if poaching continues. Rangers are in charge of protecting the elephants, but it is a dangerous profession; some are killed by poachers. For Hong Kong to destroy ivory – whose uses are deeply rooted in the city’s culture – paints a dire picture of what is happening in the African wilds. Countries are trying to eliminate the want for ivory so our elephant populations will survive.
Sign this petition and commend the government of Hong Kong for their efforts in destroying one of the largest stockpiles of ivory in the world.
Dear Leung Chun-ying,
I’ve received news that Hong Kong is incinerating 27 metric tonnes of ivory in 2014, and I have to commend your government for this decision. I realize that the use of ivory for religious objects is a long-standing tradition in Hong Kong and I know this decision wasn’t easy. However please know that you are doing elephants around the world a great service. By getting rid of this ivory you are telling poachers that ivory is not wanted in Hong Kong, and you are helping to ensure elephants survive for future generations.
Please continue to strive for the survival of these magnificent creatures. Scientists estimate that elephants could be gone in as little as twenty years if poachers are allowed to kill them. I hope that the supply and demand of ivory decreases significantly in the next coming years so our elephant population is allowed to grow and sustain itself.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Ivorymamoth via Wikimedia