Environmental Crime Issue: Ivory Trade

Environmental crime is an increasing risk that has a significant impact on natural resources, harmony, growth and safety. Key drivers of environmental crime consist economic profits, sustainable demand, abject poverty, along with institutional and supervisory failures. Environmental crime is not considered to be a main concern in most nations, resulting in a lack of suitable and balanced administrative responses.The image to be discussed involves the problem ivory trade around the world.

Ivory trade in Africa is considered a significant challenge since the 1900s when European settlers relocated to the African continent in significant numbers. Even as westerners understood that there was a real likelihood of the extermination for African elephants, demand from Asia grew as wealth in the African continent grew. By 1989, approximately 600,000 elephants had remained. In 1989, a worldwide ban on ivory trade was enacted by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).Because of mounting pressure from nations in Asia and Southern Africa, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species accepted the sale of ivory on two occasions in 1999 and 2008 respectively. The outcome of the sales has been overwhelming to elephant populaces.

Even though the sales were apparently for a drive that would profitthe salvaging of the elephant populace, rather they have just reintroduced the ivory making it more profitable for poachers to execute the elephants for the ivory. Unluckily, even today the illegitimate ivory trade is constant. According to Bergesen Parmann and Thommessen (2018), the number of forest elephants found in central Africa has significantly reduced by approximately more than 60% in the past decade. Currently, the gravestchallenge facing the elephant populace is the key trading hub in West Africa for the unlawful trading of ivory between Central Africa and Asia. The smuggled ivory is transported from the Port of Lomé in Togo to Asia, whereby, notwithstanding the banned nature of ivory, demand continues to high.

To curb the rising cases of ivory trade, it is important to raise awareness on the illegitimate trading practices. Most consumers bear a weak understanding of the ivory’s origin or the legitimacy. According to Zhang (2015), research done indicated that 70% of respondents in china were unaware that tusks mainly originated from dead elephants. Developing an awareness campaign that educates ivory consumers globally would generally reduce the demand and therefore, random spikes in ivory seizes. Another method of curbing the illicit trade involves the reinforcement of wildlife officers and provide more training to better manage the poaching menace in the reserves. Training of personnel should be coupled with stringent measures on those individuals found with tusks and ivory products. This would guarantee that ivory trade is regulated and elephant populace would not be wiped out. The main thing is that trading of ivory is unlawful and ought to be banned at all costs.





Bergesen, H. O., Parmann, G., & Thommessen, Ø. B. (2018). Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). In Yearbook of International Cooperation on Environment and Development 1998–99 (pp. 156-157). Routledge.

Zhang, L. (2015). China must act decisively to eradicate the ivory trade. Nature News527(7577), 135.

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