It has only been a few days since the new year, but 2018 is already bringing new hope for Africa’s beloved elephants. As of 1 January, it is illegal to buy ivory in China, the world’s largest legal ivory market till only a few days ago.
“This sure is ‘elephantastic’ news for the planet’s largest land animal but there is still a lot to do,” says Fred Kumah, WWF Director for Africa. “This ban means we start 2018 a step closer to a world where the demand for ivory is extinct, not our elephants. With an average of 55 elephants being killed every day in Africa to meet the demand for ivory, we must continue our efforts to tackle the illegal ivory trade in 2018.”
There are no simple solutions for protecting elephants as well as their habitats and the rich biodiversity that they support. Shutting down ivory markets and reducing demand in one part of the world, is just one of the answers — albeit a critical one.
This ban is a big win for elephants and those working tirelessly to protect them. Yet the journey is far from over. This is only the beginning of a greater global response to secure a future for elephants in the wild.
“Today, we celebrate this victory and draw inspiration from the efforts of all those working to conserve Africa’s magnificent wildlife. Together, let’s make this a year where the demand for ivory is extinct, not our elephants,” concludes Kumah.
Read the full WWF opinion piece ‘China’s ban on ivory, a new frontier to save our majestic elephants’ on Medium.