Large amounts of ivory sculptures crushed in New York
The authorities in New York Thursday states that nearly two tons of jewelry, statues and ornaments made of ivory ended up in a stone crusher in Central Park.At least 100 poached elephants were needed to make the objects now made into dust.
The action, which is a collaboration between the authorities, environmentalists and the jewelry company Tiffany & Co., was to demonstrate that they are serious when it comes to stop illegal trade in ivory.
Among the objects were large amounts of Japanese sculptures, some of which very valuable. However, environmental protection agencies and members of the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) found that whatever the value, it does not justify elephants being slaughtered due to the demand for ivory.
– By crushing a pile of ivory in the middle of the world’s most famous park, New Yorkers send a message to poachers, smugglers and dealers trying to establish shops in the middle of our streets, says Vice President in WCS, John Calvelli.
Banned in New York
Exports and sales of ivory have been banned since 1990, but the United States and many other countries have allowed people to buy and sell ivory domestically.
As of August 2014, New York has prohibited the selling, buying, trading in and distribution of any object made from elephant tusks.
(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
The ivory trade is the commercial, often illegal trade in the ivory tusks of the hippopotamus, walrus, narwhal, mammoth, and most commonly, African and Asian elephants.
Ivory has been traded for hundreds of years by people in regions such as Greenland, Alaska, and Siberia. The trade, in more recent times, has led to endangerment of species, resulting in restrictions and bans. Ivory was formerly used to make piano keys and other decorative items because of the white color it presents when processed but the piano industry abandoned ivory as a key covering material in the 1970s
1980s poaching and illegal trade
In 1979, the African elephant population was estimated to be around 1.3 million in 37 range states, but by 1989, only 600,000 remained. Although many ivory traders repeatedly claimed that the problem was habitat loss, it became glaringly clear that the threat was primarily the international ivory trade. Throughout this decade, around 75,000 African elephants were killed for the ivory trade annually, worth around 1 billion dollars. About 80% of this was estimated to come from illegally killed elephants.
The international deliberations over the measures required to prevent the serious decline in elephant numbers almost always ignored the loss of human life in Africa, the fueling of corruption, the “currency” of ivory in buying arms, and the breakdown of law and order in areas where illegal ivory trade flourished. The debate usually rested on the numbers of elephants, estimates of poached elephants and official ivory statistics. Activists such as Jim Nyamu have described current ivory prices for poached ivory and the dangers such activists face from organized poaching.
Solutions to the problem of poaching and illegal trade focused on trying to control international ivory movements through CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora).
© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today