A National Geographic Video: Explaining The Wild-Blood Ivory Trade

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“This is a follow on, from the previous post. I wanted to show the full extent of the ivory problem, to as many people as possible. I want people to fully understand the problems, faced by elephants, due to the high supply & demand of ivory. Then hopefully, after viewing the video, one might want to go back to the previous post & carry out the instructions or click the link at the bottom of this post, that will take you to the page. It’s only 3 steps. 1 send an email letter (the template & email addresses are included) 2. sign 2 petitions (links are there) 3. to simply share it with everyone you know; we all need to do our bit, to help save the elephants.”

“The National Geographic film is 45 minutes long…but well worth 45 minutes of anybody’s time. I have watched many videos on the subject, but believe this one  gives a very real & disturbing insight into all areas of the ivory trade. From the poachers to customs & excise, even the Chinese government! This racket is definitely very shady; undercover agents were told things that really puts this expensive trade; into perspective!”

“As previously stated in the prior post, the sixteenth Conference of the Parties (CoP16) in March 2013 is so important in stopping the ivory trade. The scientific community, global intelligence agencies and wildlife trafficking authorities warn that the African Elephant is on the precipice of extermination due to the unmitigated slaughter of tens of thousands of elephants each year.”

” One interesting fact pointed out in the film, is that some Chinese people, believe ivory comes from the elephants teeth, which they presume just grows back! Therefore, education is a big factor here, the Chinese government need to get their ass into gear & make the Chinese aware of what ivory really is & the despicable, heinous way, in which it is taken from the elephant, often leaving many baby elephants to die also!”

“One big problem, is something used by many Chinese people…ivory chopsticks! Now I know that their not all made of ivory, but do up market restaurants use them; if so  imagine how many chopsticks China gets through in week? How many elephants are killed just to support the demand for chopsticks??

Please note: Viewer Discretion is Advised (more so in the fist 10 minutes)

Help the elephants CITIES CoP 16 Link; everthing you need is included in this link :-http://www.elephantectivism.org/p/ivory-action-1-2-3.html

National Geographic:-Wild-Blood Ivory Smugglers

Published on 18 Jun 2012

National Geographic:-Wild-Blood Ivory Smugglers

Why Are Elephants Dying for Religion?

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“Please note, the link below contains some petitions to sign regarding elephants & other wildlife!”

Figurines and statues have been a part of Christianity since its inception, but should we be killing animals to make them?

This Jesus figurine is made of elephant ivory. (DeAgostini Library/Getty Images)

This Jesus figurine is made of elephant ivory. (DeAgostini Library/Getty Images)

Sadly, religion figures heavily in the demand for ivory, something Noah probably didn’t have in mind when he marched those animals onto the ark.

Despite the efforts of multiple organizations and governments throughout the world, the killing of elephants for their tusks continues at an alarming rate.

Just last week, Kenyan authorities seized two tons of illegal elephant ivory at the Kenyan port of Mombasa that was bound for Indonesia. And earlier this month, custom agents in Hong Kong discovered 779 elephant tusks hidden in the false bottoms of shipping crates from Kenya, which represented at least 389 elephant deaths.

Last September, Oliver Payne, a National Geographic journalist, decided to tackle the lust for tusk from a different anglethe God angle. According to Payne, “The religious use of ivory is among the least publicized and seemingly most easily correctable drivers of the massive elephant slaughter now taking place across Africa.”

Payne wrote to Father Federico Lombardi, the director of the Vatican’s press office, to see if “the Vatican would take a leadership role regarding the use of ivory by Catholics.”

Contacted for comment, Father Lombardi sent TakePart a lengthy letter dated January 22 that was addressed to “Oliver Payne and friends of the elephants.” It stated, in part, that “regarding animals, the position of the Catholic has always been that, even if these certainly do not have the same level of dignity and thus of rights as human beings, they are living beings and of a higher perfection than plant life, especially those more evolved animals that are capable of relationships and sensations, of feeling pleasure and pain, for which they merit respectful treatment. They cannot be arbitrarily killed or made to suffer.

He also noted that in his experience the Church has not encouraged the use of ivory for devotional objects. “We all know that there are ivory objects of religious significance, mostly ancient, because ivory was considered a beautiful and valuable material. There has never, however, been encouragement on the part of the Church to use ivory instead of any other material.”

“Nevertheless, we are absolutely convinced that the massacre of elephants is a very serious matter, against which it is right that everyone who can do something should be committed.”

Father Lombardi then went on to outline three things he thought could be accomplished by “a program of information and empowerment through some ‘Vatican’ organizations.” These include:

1) “To bring this issue to the attention of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, which is the Vatican dicastery responsible for studying precisely those problems associated with justice and peace, but also with the environment.”

2) “To propose to the sections of Vatican Radio that prepare programming for Africa (in English, French, Portuguese, and Swahili) to investigate into this topic and to speak about it in radio programs in order to encourage the ecclesial communities it addresses to engage in the fight against poaching and the illegal ivory trade, as well as to propose informational material to the other sections of Vatican Radio in order to raise awareness among their audiences.”

3) “To make the contributions of the research of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences on environmental issues and biodiversity more widely known.”

Father Lombardi ended his letter by saying that, “The slaughter of elephants will not stop because of these initiatives, but at least we are working together to seek practical solutions to stopping it with the possibilities of information and training available to us.”

The Catholic Church has publicly condemned the use of ivory for religious figurines.

Do you think religious organizations should be more actively involved in trying to stop the slaughter of elephants?

Petitions to sign & News Link:-http://www.takepart.com/article/2013/01/23/elephants-and-ivory-vatican-hopes-we-can-all-live-together-perfect-harmony

How N.Y. can stop elephant slaughter

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These great beasts are being killed at an alarming rate. Here’s how to choke off the illegal ivory trade

This month has seen troubling headlines: A rising demand for elephant ivory in Asia and the introduction of global criminal networks into the illegal wildlife trade in Africa are pushing wild elephants ever closer to extinction. Eight out of 10 elephants today die as a result of poaching rather than from natural causes.

As the October cover story in National Geographic, “Blood Ivory” describes, more than 25,000 of these majestic, highly social, and intelligent animals are slaughtered annually — and thousands of those are being killed for use of their tusks in statuary and religious artifacts.

What do crimes in Africa and Asia have to do with the five boroughs? More than you might care to know.

This summer, a joint investigation by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service led to the arrest of two jewelers selling illegally-obtained ivory. In the heart of midtown’s diamond district, Vance’s staff seized a wide variety of decorative ivory with a staggering combined retail value of more than $2 million .

Under New York State law, selling ivory is legal — but dealers must have a permit, and that permit can only be obtained by those who follow strict federal regulations that require ivory either to be proven antique or to pre-date the listing of the species as endangered (1976 for Asia, 1978 for Africa).

The international community has its own strict regulations — a complete ban on the world trade in ivory that began in 1989.

For a long time, these prohibitions saved thousands of elephants from slaughter. But in recent years, a rising middle class in China and elsewhere in Asia has increased consumer demand for ivory.

And now the situation on the ground has slipped out of control: 2011 was the worst year for elephant deaths since the global ivory ban was first imposed.

The numbers are bad, but that cannot compare to the carnage one sees firsthand in elephant range countries.

Field staff of the Wildlife Conservation Society working in Africa and Asia have followed the expanding elephant carcass count with increased alarm. It is gruesome, shocking and infuriating. Full-grown elephants are brutally cut down. Juveniles and babies, too.

They’ve seen how roads into forests built for industries like logging and mining are providing poachers access to wildlife. They worry that, with more Asian companies and nationals moving into Africa, the situation could only get worse for these elephants, whose tusks are coveted for use in carvings, inlays and ornamental objects.

Obviously, better protection on the ground from Central Africa to the Far East is crucial.

But an equally critical key to saving elephants’ lives is drying up demand for products made out of their tusks in places like Hong Kong and Manhattan.

We must not only catch ivory traders and confiscate their contraband; we must prosecute and punish them.

In 2011, a 35-year-old Chinese national was apprehended by Republic of Congo officials as he attempted to board a flight for Beijing. He was carrying five tusks, 80 ivory chopsticks, three ivory carvings and several other ivory items.

The smuggler was eventually sentenced to four years in prison, sending a clear message that Congo will not tolerate the illegal killing of wildlife.

But these kinds of sentences are, regrettably, all too rare.

If we want our children and grandchildren to share the planet with elephants, we must make the world far more dangerous for the poachers who are driving them toward oblivion.

News Link:– http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/n-y-stop-elephant-slaughter-article-1.1160102

Gabon’s Ivory Will Go Up in Smoke

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In a dramatic statement of principle, the Central African nation of Gabon will today burn its 4.8 tonne elephant ivory stockpile – a move which has been widely applauded by the international conservation community.

The Born Free Foundation believes this landmark gesture by Gabon sends a clear and unambiguous message to the criminal networks involved in international wildlife crime: that illegal trading in elephant ivory will no longer be tolerated.

“This is a momentous day for Gabon and speaks volumes about the seriousness of the elephant poaching situation today said Will Travers OBE, Chief Executive Officer of the Born Free Foundation.  “I hope that Gabon’s decisive action will alert consumers of ivory in China, decision-makers in Brussels and those who believe the ivory trade should be legalised, to the hard truth – that demand is wiping out Africa’s elephants”.

Wildlife trade analysts described 2011 as an annus horribilis for the African elephant and many experts now believe poaching stands at its highest level for 20 years.  Last week, a report submitted to CITES (the 175 nations that have ratified the International Convention on Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora), identified China as the primary destination for this illicit trade.

Ian Redmond OBE, Wildlife Consultant to the Born Free Foundation exclaimed: “Gabon’s ivory bonfire (a true bonfire of the vanities, given the uses to which ivory is put) sends a clear signal to the world – the ivory trade must end.  Why is this so important?   Because the elephant is not only an icon of African wildlife and culture.  They are also widely viewed as a super-keystone species or “mega-gardeners of the forest”.   Their role as seed dispersal agents and landscape gardeners is critical to the health of their forest, and their forests are in turn critical to global climate stability.”

Please read the rest:- http://www.bloodyivory.org/news/gabon-ivory-burn

Interpol: 200 arrested in biggest crackdown on elephant slaughter

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More than 200 people were arrested and two tons of ivory seized — along with guns, lion pelts, rhino horns and live birds — in the largest operation against wildlife smugglers to date, Interpol announced Tuesday. As sizable as the numbers are, though, the real test will be whether Africa finally sees a drop in the record slaughter of elephants and rhinos.

The three-month operation ranged across 17 African countries as well as China, where officials cracked down on websites and stores selling ornaments made from ivory, the trade for which is banned globally.

“The intelligence gathered during Operation Worthy will enable us to identify the links between the poachers and the global networks driving and facilitating the crime,” David Higgins, head of Interpol’s environmental crime program, said in a statement.

The International Fund for Animal Welfare helped Interpol by training officers in African countries, and said it also provided leads that allowed China to uncover 700 cases of illegal wildlife trade.

China “busted 13 gangs, punished 1,031 illegal traders, seized over 130,000 wild animals and their animal products,” IFAW said in a statement, adding that 7,155 shops and 628 websites selling banned animals were shut down.

Still, the two tons of ivory seized is just a fraction of what’s smuggled each year.

Last year, a record 23 tons of ivory were confiscated — which means many more got smuggled out of Africa. Those 23 tons probably represent some 2,500 elephants, the international monitoring groupTRAFFIC said in a statement.

Read more:-http://worldnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/06/19/12303417-interpol-200-arrested-in-biggest-crackdown-on-elephant-slaughter?lite


Elephant Ivory Stockpile Sales Help Create a Deadly New Currency in China

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CAPE TOWN, South Africa, June 4, 2012 — /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — In a world of economic uncertainty, elephant ivory has become a new investment vehicle in China, which coincides with an extraordinary surge in the number of elephants being killed for their ivory.

A new ivory market investigation report released Monday by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW – www.ifaw.org) shows the legal sale of ivory stockpiles in 2008 has spurred demand, particularly in China where ivory is increasingly coveted by wealthy Chinese as “white gold.”

“Elephant ivory has, in a manner of speaking, become a new currency in China,” said Grace Gabriel, Asia Regional Director for IFAW. “The escalating demand has sent the price of ivory soaring. Couple that with the strengthening of the Chinese Yuan (RMB) against an ailing U.S. dollar, and suddenly buying illegal ivory in Africa and selling it at a huge profit in China becomes an extremely lucrative business.”

IFAW says the blame lies firmly at the door of the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), which in 2008 gave the go-ahead for the legal sale of ivory stockpiles by four South African countries to China and Japan.

Since 2009, when China took delivery of its purchase, the market for ivory there—legally traded or not—has exploded. Worldwide seizures of illegal ivory have matched this trend, with the media reporting that 5,259 ivory tusks (an astounding 23 tons) were confiscated in 2011 alone.

The Chinese regulatory system, introduced in 2004 with the intention of strictly controlling the domestic ivory market in line with CITES required conditions, has been rendered virtually impotent against the demand for ivory.

“Of the 158 ivory trade facilities visited in five cities by Chinese experts, 101 did not have government issued licenses and were operating illegally. Among licensed facilities, the majority abused the ivory control system in some way,” continued Gabriel. “The illicit ivory trading activities in both unlicensed and licensed but non-compliant facilities outnumbered properly legal facilities nearly six to one (135/23).”

Fishermen: We Killed Alligator in Self-Defense

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“Oh come on, have you seen the size of these guys? What was he doing with a gun, saying he took it along so it wouldn’t get pinched is a bit of a lame story….unregistered boat, illegal hunting…perhaps the wife wanted some new croc shoes!”

Two Fort Worth fishermen charged in the killing of a large alligator say they were protecting themselves and never intended to commit any crime.

Keyon Ivory, 31, and his friend, Patrick Miller, 34, said they panicked when they encountered the gator while fishing earlier this month along the Trinity River near the Fort Worth Nature Center.

“I was in the front seat here, steering,” Ivory said, pointing to his small bass boat.

Suddenly, he saw the alligator rising from the water, he said. He said it was “a huge one; I mean, bigger than the boat we were on.”

The boat is 10 feet long. The alligator was 11.

“I was scared. I was very scared,” Miller said. “When it started coming towards us, that’s when we really got scared.”

The men said they feared for their lives and jumped out of the boat.

“I instantly panicked,” Ivory said. “My heart raced a beat, you know. I mean us, everyday guys, we don’t see something like that on the water every day.”

Miller admitted that he shot the gator with a gun he brought to protect himself. He said he brought the gun with him because it was new and he didn’t want someone to steal it from his car.

Ivory then called 911 to report what had just happened.

“We tried doing the right thing,” Miller said.

“Oh my God, it’s a huge alligator,” one of the men said in the 911 call. “He is in the water right now.”

Ivory and Miller waited for sheriff’s deputies to arrive and said they fully cooperated.

But later, Texas game wardens investigated and found that what the men did was a crime.

The men initially claimed in the 911 call that they had been attacked, but the investigation revealed they were not attacked, said Texas Parks and Wildlife Department spokesman Mike Cox.

Ivory got tickets for having an unregistered boat and not having life preservers.

Miller was cited for illegal hunting and fined $5,300.

He said he cannot pay the fine.

“We just don’t want to go to jail,” Ivory said.

Both men apologized for what they did, even though they thought at the time they were protecting themselves, they said.

“Most of all, we have our remorse for it,” Ivory said. “I want to apologize, like I say, over and over again to the Nature Center about it because we’re not no poachers. We would never harm anything. We would never shoot an innocent bird.”

They both said they have had nightmares since the incident.

Animal experts say most alligators do not pose a threat to people.

News Link:-http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/local/Fishermen-We-Killed-Alligator-in-Self-Defense-153883165.html

IFAW – Protect Elephants from Ivory Poaching – Please Sign Petition

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Elephants are supposed to be protected under a UN agreement that bans the international trade of ivory. But, some African countries regularly request exemptions to sell their ivory, creating demand that’s led to a black market that’s deadly for elephants.

Already in 2012, in just a single national park in Cameroon, between 300 and 650 elephants have been killed for their tusks. The total estimated population is just 3,000-5,000 in the entire country.

Last year there were an unprecedented number of seizures of illegal ivory. But the ivory trade — and the elephant poaching that feeds it — is on the rise worldwide. Leaders in the European Union need to stand up for elephants and do something about it.

Sign the petition to demand that the EU take action to stop the poaching and end the ivory trade »

Poaching and illegal ivory trade are on the increase worldwide.

In 2011 there was an unprecedented number of seizures of illegal ivory in countries around the world.

Within about 30 days in early 2012, 300 to 650 elephants were killed by heavily armed poachers in a single national park in Cameroon, out of an estimated national population of 3,000 to 5,000.

IFAW believes that even one elephant killed for its ivory is one too many. We will not stand by idly while elephants are needlessly slaughtered to meet a demand for luxury goods.

Join the fight to free elephants from the threat of ivory poaching. Please sign this petition to urge the European Union to take immediate action to stop the poaching and to help protect the world’s elephants from the continued threat of ivory trade.

Africa Elephant Ivory Poaching: Interpol Mounts Largest Ever Crackdown | World News | Sky News

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Interpol is carrying out the largest anti-elephant ivory poaching operation ever mounted following mass killings in Africa.

Wildlife agents in 14 different African countries have been raiding outlets and hunting down traders to crack down on the multi-million pound industry.

Operation Worthy, as it is being called, is aimed at stifling the increasing demand in illegal elephant ivory, mostly from Asian countries such as China.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

The operation, which has been co-ordinated by Interpol’s Environmental Crime Programme and funded by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), has already had some success.

Several dozen people have been arrested and the agents have recovered what they describe as “significant” amounts of illegal wildlife products – including more than 250kg of raw ivory but also lion and leopard pelts, python and crocodile skins and live birds.

The operation follows a terrible year for elephants in 2011.

It was the worst year on record for ivory seizures – and only last week a team of wildlife workers for IFAW reported an unprecedented slaughter of elephants in Cameroon.

“This is about bringing hard-nosed criminals to justice and stopping the cruelty that has been inflicted on thousands of elephants and rhinos,” said Kelvin Alie, the director of IFAW’s Wildlife Crime and Consumer Awareness Programme.

One of the main exit points for elephant ivory is Kenya and the Sky team was taken to see a huge stockpile of confiscated ivory near the capital, Nairobi.

We have been asked not to identify where we were taken for fear it will be raided and the ivory stolen. Elephant ivory is big business and protecting the elephants can be a dangerous occupation.

As we arrived, the rangers from the Kenyan Wildlife Service told us a female ranger had died that day trying to protect the elephants in her charge.

We were taken through heavily bolted doors to see dozens and dozens of tusks. They filled three rooms. The guard drew my attention to a stack of 12 crates – all filled with ivory hidden among avocados before being spotted by customs officers.

This was just one consignment – with each tusk with a street value of about £40,000 on the black market. They haven’t yet decided what to do with the illegal ivory – and what to do with it is a big problem.

In 2008, the ban on ivory sales was lifted to allow for the trade of 108 tons of ivory stocks from Botswana, South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe to China and Japan.

The sell-off did dispense with old stocks but it also boosted demand – and worringly provided an ideal cover for illicit ivory sales.

China’s rapid economic expansion into Africa has also inadvertently led to an upsurge in demand for ivory products. With Chinese buyers now prevalent in many African countries, the criminal syndicates ordering the tusks have a ready market.

The rangers from the Kenya Wildlife Service fear the poaching is already depleting elephant stocks to a dangerous level.

Patrick Omondi, the assistant senior director of Kenyan Wildlife Service told Sky News: “We are already seeing populations of elephants disappear. And Kenya cannot fight this war on its own.

“We need the whole international community to come together to fight this or I fear the elephant will eventually become extinct in parts of Africa.”

:: One tusk can weigh over 60kg and is equivalent to £10,000 of raw ivory on the street
:: 500 elephants were killed in Cameroon this year in one single park
:: In 2011 23 tons of ivory was seized – the equivalent of 2,500 elephants, only 10-20% of the total

Poachers kill 200 elephants in Cameroon killing spree | Reuters

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Poachers have killed more than 200 elephants in Cameroon in just six weeks, in a “massacre” fuelled by Asian demand for ivory. A local government official said heavily armed poachers from Chad and Sudan had decimated the elephant population of Bouba Ndjida National Park in Cameroon’s far north in a dry season killing spree.

“We are talking about a very serious case of trans-frontier poaching, involving well-armed poachers with modern weapons from Sudan and Chad who are decimating this wildlife species to make quick money from the international ivory trade,” said Gambo Haman, governor of Cameroon’s North region.

The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) said cross-border poaching was common during the dry season but the scale of the killings so far this year was unprecedented. “This latest massacre is massive and has no comparison to those of the preceding years,” the group said in a statement.

via Poachers kill 200 elephants in Cameroon killing spree | Reuters.

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