Hong Kong Customs displays 82.5kg of rhino horns from South Africa and destined for Malaysia. Photo: ISD

China, Ivory Trade & the Future of Africa’s Elephants: An EIA Briefing

China is seeking approval at the 57th meeting of the standing Committee of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered species (CITEs), in July 2008, to become a CITEs approved ivory trading nation. Specifically, China seeks to import ivory from stockpiles in Botswana, Namibia, south Africa and Zimbabwe to satisfy booming domestic demand. Given the 18-year international ban on international ivory trade, the 12th Conference of the Parties decided in 2002 that a second international auction of ivory from these southern African stockpiles could go ahead but only if a number of conditions had been met.