JOHANNESBURG –The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) is calling on Japan to close its domestic ivory market because it contributes to illegal trade and the poaching of Africa’s elephants. EIA’s appeal comes on the heels of a resolution adopted by countries yesterday at the Convention for International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Caught Flora and Fauna (CITES) 17th Conference of the Parties (CoP 17) recommending closure of domestic ivory markets globally on an urgent basis.
The resolution which was agreed by consensus, “recommends that all Parties and non-Parties in whose jurisdiction there is a legal domestic market for ivory that is contributing to poaching or illegal trade, take all necessary legislative, regulatory and enforcement measures to close their domestic markets for commercial trade in raw and worked ivory as a matter of urgency.”
EIA president, Allan Thornton said, “EIA investigations over the past sixteen months confirm that Japan’s tusk registration scheme allows poached tusks to be legalized onto the Japanese market. It is time to end the tusk registration scheme and to close domestic ivory trade to reduce the demand that fuels ivory poaching.”
“The resolution is crystal clear. Markets that contribute to poaching or illegal trade should be urgently closed. All legal ivory markets encourage poaching and ivory trafficking, but there is no doubt that Japan in particular is a large market with a serious problem with illegal ivory trade,” Thornton said.
Maggie Dewane, Communications and Press Officer, EIA, 202-483-6621, [email protected]