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Hong Kong: World’s Ivory Sales Capital

Hong Kong's ivory market is booming thanks to an influx of tourists seeking luxury items — and that's impeding international efforts to end Africa’s elephant poaching crisis, according to a new report released Wednesday by Save the Elephants.

A survey of 72 Hong Kong retail outlets found nearly 31,000 ivory items displayed for sale, with jewelry the most popular item followed by figurines. Vendors estimated that 90% of customers were tourists from mainland China. 

“No other city surveyed has so many pieces of ivory on sale as Hong Kong,” report co-author Esmond Martin said in a statement. “With higher taxes on the mainland, Hong Kong has become a cheaper place to buy ivory. With 40 million people crossing the border between the territories every year and controls lax, there’s little chance of their getting caught.”

Licensed vendors can legally sell ivory products obtained prior to 1990 when an international ban on ivory imports went into effect. But the city's licensing system has been roundly condemned as ineffective, allowing for the sale of illegal ivory from recently poached elephants.  

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In Hong Kong, a Student-Led Rallying Cry: Say No to Ivory

With three-quarters of Hong Kong citizens in support of a commercial ivory sales ban, schoolchildren have played a leading role in confronting one of the world’s largest ivory markets.

This past Saturday, 20 children from ESF Clearwater Bay School in Sai Kung District chanted the slogan “Say No to Ivory!” as they delivered to the Hong Kong government’s Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) a giant elephant collage made up of 120 individually hand-written messages, urging the government to ban ivory sales. 

The children, along with their teachers and parents, made up a boisterous crowd of around 50 people in the ground floor lobby of AFCD’s headquarters. 

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Hong Kong Lawmaker Pushes for Ivory Ban

Photo: Hong Kong legislative councillor Dr. Elizabeth Quat, © Alex Hofford/WildAid

Movement is afoot to crack down on one of the world’s largest illegal ivory markets that’s fueling the rampant slaughter of African elephants.  

Brunei Institutes Asia’s First Nationwide Shark Fin Ban

WildAid urges others in the region to follow as traders report declining demand

 

Yao Ming Heads to Africa to Document Rhino and Elephant Poaching Crisis

Former NBA star and WildAid Ambassador, Yao Ming

Former NBA star and WildAid Ambassador, Yao Ming, heads to Africa to document the poaching crisis facing rhinos and elephants, as a result of Asian demand for rhino horn and ivory.  

Check out Yao's blog to follow his journey.

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