With the close of the 60-day public comment period on its proposed domestic ivory ban, Taiwan’s Forestry Bureau officially announced the ban on its domestic ivory trade starting on 1st January 2020. The Wildlife Conservation Act regulations, specifically Article 33-3, stipulates that as of 1st January 2020 “the sale of and purchase permits” for “ivory or ivory processed products” shall formally end.
In 1989, the bureau had imposed the Wildlife Conservation Act to strictly curb the import and export of ivory, but in consideration of its large ivory stockpile and the large number of carvers and traders depending on the trade, it rolled back the regulation and re-opened the domestic ivory trade in 1995.
WildAid has been actively promoting a domestic ban on the ivory trade in Taiwan since 2016 when it started discussing a total ban on all ivory sales with government officials. WildAid organized a press conference to examine the regulatory loopholes in the current domestic approval process for ivory sales which helped Taiwan lawmakers give their support to the proposed ivory ban. In January 2017, WildAid joined 42 local and international wildlife protection, nature conservation and student groups in submitting a request to Taiwan’s President for the total prohibition of ivory trade in line with similar efforts by other global leaders supporting elephant conservation efforts.
WildAid congratulates Taiwan on enacting this historic policy to prohibit the ivory trade, taking a decisive step towards the goal of completely closing Taiwan’s ivory market.
Taiwan joins mainland China, Hong Kong, Vietnam, the United Kingdom and the United States in instituting a domestic ban on ivory sales. Thailand has significantly strengthened its ivory regulations with several minor exceptions short of a full ban. Japan remains the largest ivory market in Asia yet to introduce a domestic ban.
IUCN estimates that the population of African elephants has declined by 111,000 over the past ten years. The overall trends in the poaching of African elephants show a decline from the peak in 2011, but they are still at levels too high when viewed continent-wide. The overall population of African elephants is likely to have continued to decline in 2016.
While efforts in Eastern Africa have helped reduce poaching to pre-2008 levels, unfortunately illegal killing of Central Africa’s forest elephants remains very high. This compounds the dramatic losses experienced in the region over the past decade. Between 2008 and 2016, elephant populations declined by 66% in parts of Cameroon, the Republic of Congo, Central African Republic and Gabon, according to a WWF survey.
WildAid is a non-profit organization with a mission to end the illegal wildlife trade in our lifetimes. While most wildlife conservation groups focus on protecting animals from poaching, WildAid primarily works to reduce global consumption of wildlife products such as elephant ivory, rhino horn and shark fin soup. With an unrivaled portfolio of celebrity ambassadors and a global network of media partners, WildAid leverages nearly $230 million in annual pro-bono media support with a simple message: When the Buying Stops, the Killing Can Too.
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