Target: President of China, Xi Jinping
Goal: Issue a permanent ban on ivory carvings in China to save threatened African elephants.
Animal welfare activists have been pacified by a temporary ban on ivory carvings in China, as these items cannot be imported into the country for a year. The moratorium was issued due to international concern about the declining elephant populations in Africa, and will take effect immediately. Officials are standing watch to see if the ban will affect the elephant populations and illegal smuggling. Experts believe that this action will do nothing to stifle the poaching. To truly stop this problem, China will need to issue a permanent ban on ivory carvings in the nation.
Elephant tusks and rhino horns are considered good luck in many Asian countries. However, because of this belief, the demand for ivory had skyrocketed in recent years. A few pounds of ivory or rhino horns can cost a fortune, and poachers in Africa readily provide these items. Elephants and rhinos are killed in record numbers; between the years 2012 to 2015, an estimated 100,000 African elephants were slaughtered for their tusks. In that same amount of time, the cost of ivory has tripled. Scientists predict that their numbers will not recover, and instead will decrease over time. At the rate that elephants are being killed, they could disappear in the next 20 years.
The rhinos of Southern Africa almost suffered that same fate, and animal activists are deeply concerned that elephants will meet this fate soon. The temporary bans on ivory imports do not affect the domestic trade that exists inside the country. One shopkeeper who sells ivory products in Shanghai was interviewed by The New York Times and told the news agency that the ivory makes customers happy, and he doesn’t care if the species does go extinct.
China has tried various methods to educate the public about the dangers of poaching. The nation destroyed a significant stockpile of ivory in 2014 and raised awareness campaigns. Unfortunately, citizens still believe that ivory brings good luck and the demand for such items continue to rise. To stop the illegal poaching of elephants, China needs to issue a permanent ban on the selling and trade of ivory products. Sign this petition and urge President Xi Jinping to make this ban law.
Dear President Xi Jinping,
It concerns me that Chinese citizens still vie for elephant products. These animals are near extinction, and in the next couple decades could disappear entirely. It scares me that there are so few people in your country who want to protect these animals. Elephants are remarkable creatures, known for their matriarchal societies, impressive memory, and close knit communities. They are one of Africa’s mega fauna, and it would deeply depress me if these creatures were to disappear from our planet.
I do not believe that a temporary ban on ivory products will stop the flow of items into China. I believe it will only increase the demand, and motivate poachers to take more risks. A permanent solution is necessary and that requires a complete and total ban on ivory products. This will be the only way to prevent the extinction of elephants, and I implore you to support this legislation.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Rob Young via Flickr