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China and CITES Secretariat to tackle demand for illegal ivory

Some 80 representatives from national wildlife and other relevant authorities from China, the United Kingdom, the United States, the European Commission, and international organizations, including UNDP, UNEP, UNODC and the World Bank, as well as the private sector and non-governmental organizations, experts and specialists from many disciplines, including from the collection and art investment circles, gathered together for a two-day workshop to discuss demand-side strategies for curbing illegal ivory trade in China. The workshop was co-organized by the Chinese Government and the CITES Secretariat.


The workshop in Hangzhou aimed at better understanding the markets, the motivations and the economics of the demand for illegal ivory, identifying the main stakeholders and investors and raising their awareness of the negative consequences of ivory speculation, including the financial loss and penalties ivory smugglers, sellers and buyers are exposing themselves to, and the devastating impacts these investments are having on elephants and people.


Commenting of the workshop, Mr John E. Scanlon, the CITES Secretary-General who attended the workshop, said: “Well-targeted demand-based interventions are needed to complement the significant enforcement efforts underway across source, transit and destination States. Awareness campaigns to reduce the size of the illegal markets have not yet specifically targeted the speculative nature of the demand for high volumes of illegal ivory in black markets. This groundbreaking workshop addresses targeted demand side strategies as is part of the strong ongoing efforts by the Government of China to curb illegal trade in ivory.”


"The Government of China welcomes the opportunity to co-organize this very important event with the CITES Secretariat and we believe it is a major step forward in addressing the demand for illegal ivory. The Government of China has zero tolerance in illegal trade in ivory and has put great efforts in cracking down on smuggling as well as illegal trade within China. China has played a leading role in cross-continent wildlife enforcement including Operation Cobra. We are also determined to reduce the demand for illegal ivory through well targeted campaigns in cooperation with the CITES Secretariat and other partners", stated Vice Administrator Liu Dongsheng of the State Forestry Administration of China.



More information:


See also CITES Secretary-General's opening remarks at the workshop



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