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Wednesday
Apr042018

Taiwan announces move to close its domestic ivory market by 2020

African Elephant Loxodonta Africana © Shutterstock / Lara Zanarini / WWF-Sweden

Taiwan, 4th April 2018–Taiwan is the latest territory to announce plans to close its domestic ivory market pursuant to CITES1 Resolution 10.10 in what is a global move towards shutting down ivory markets worldwide.

The Council of Agriculture yesterday proposed amendments to the Wildlife Conservation Act that would see a phase-out of Taiwan’s remaining domestic ivory market by 2020, recommending stiff penalties for anyone found to be involved in illegal trade.

The import and re-export of ivory has been banned in Taiwan since 1989, with domestic trade permitted only in stocks registered in 1995.

Recent cases however have highlighted a continuing problem with illegal ivory trade in the region. One such incident occurred on the 4th March 2018, when an individual was caught on suspicion of attempting to smuggle concealed ivory carvings into Taipei from Osaka, Japan.

Taiwan’s announcement follows similar commitments from neighbouring regions such as Hong Kong, whose Legislative Council earlier this year voted in favour of an historic bill to end its domestic ivory trade by 2021. Mainland China’s domestic ivory ban has already been in place since January, where ongoing behaviour change initiatives are helping to further reduce the demand for and consumption of ivory products across the region.

TRAFFIC supports CITES Resolution 10.10, which stipulates that “Parties and non-Parties in whose jurisdiction there is a legal domestic market for ivory that is contributing to poaching or illegal trade, take all necessary legislative, regulatory and enforcement measures to close their domestic markets for commercial trade in raw and worked ivory as a matter of urgency.”

“This announcement is another step forward for the conservation of African Elephants,” said Joyce Wu, Senior Programme Officer for TRAFFIC in Taiwan.

“In addition to ivory from existing stockpiles, steps should be taken to address illegal ivory imports into Taiwan so as not to undermine the market closure.”

 

 

Notes
1 CITES is the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora

Contact
Richard Thomas, Richard.thomas@traffic.org
Joyce Wu, Joyce.wu@traffic.org

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