Chinese President’s Delegation Tied to Illegal Ivory Purchases During Africa Visit

Hi everyone,

Things have been a little quiet after the march but there’s still lots going on. As a relative newcomer to advocacy  I am beginning to realize that advocating for “species at risk” is a marathon not a sprint. I just hope there is enough time to stop the eradication of elephants, lions, tigers, rhinos, apes, pangolins etc..(and I don’t use “etc” lightly here but the list does go on and on and on.)

The one thing I’ve learned is that we’re all too blame. This isn’t a case of this being someone else’s problem. This is our problem. Each one of us, every country around the globe allows the mass extinction of species by either not speaking up or being actively complicit.

IVORY-tmagArticleIn the case of China it’s all those things and more. Growth of the Chinese middle class fueled by one of the world’s strongest economies has increased the cultural taste for ivory. Some people believe (apparently) that many Chinese believe that tusks simply fall off elephants or are only taken from elephants who have died naturally. Even Hallmark was recently promoting ivory as a 14th anniversary wedding gift until public reaction and advocates obligated them to take it down and re-write their catalogue. I want to believe that we live in a day and age where gross public misinformation isn’t possible but in the case of China, a closed society in many ways, it is possible. And of course, it’s not just China – it’s the communities that allow their wildlife to be bought and shot and killed. Poverty, lack of education, greed, transit countries, laws that aren’t enforced and those of us who stand idly by,  are all co-conspirators in the death or shall we say the murder of wildlife.

I’m sharing this article published in the New York Times. Global March for Elephant organizers will be organizing protests all the over world in front of Chinese consulates. They might be in it for the long game but so are we. As long as the long game doesn’t mean that no elephant is left standing because of the greedy need for ivory – ivory a word I hate using because of course, a tusk is what belongs to an elephant – ivory is the human objectification of that animal’s tusk.

05sino-ivory02-tmagArticle

Chinese President’s Delegation Tied to Illegal Ivory Purchases During Africa Visit

BEIJING — When President Xi Jinping of China and his entourage of government officials and business leaders arrived in Tanzania in March 2013, it was to officially promote economic ties between the two countries.

But according to a report by the Environmental Investigation Agency, a nongovernmental organization based in London, members of the Chinese delegation used Mr. Xi’s visit as an opportunity to procure so much illegal ivory that local prices doubled to about $318 a pound. Two weeks before Mr. Xi arrived, Chinese buyers purchased thousands of pounds of poached tusks, which were “later sent to China in diplomatic bags on the presidential plane,” said the report, which was released on Wednesday.

The Chinese government has been trying to prove itself a responsible state actor that is serious about abolishing corruption and abiding by international law. But the report, “Vanishing Point: Criminality, Corruption and the Devastation of Tanzania’s Elephants,” details Chinese diplomats and military personnel colluding with Tanzanian officials and Chinese crime syndicates to send illegal ivory to China, decimating Tanzania’s elephant population in the process. Read more here.

We all need China to stop this. They have to stop or we’ll lose one of the world’s greatest keystone species – a species that has roamed this planet for millions of years. I don’t want to be the generation that allows this to happen. Because it will happen with elephants and every other animal and species until there’s nothing left. Please share share share.

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Chinese President’s Delegation Tied to Illegal Ivory Purchases During Africa Visit

  1. Until the majority of the individuals of the international community awaken, recognize the dire implications of The Earth’s precious wildlife being driven to extinction, the road is anything but a sprint. It is quite clear that we cannot depend on governments to protect The Planet. We must continue to unify and take action. I personally keep my eyes on the victories and there are MANY humans waking up to the urgency of these issues. Like you, I wonder if the human species will collectively wake up in time. I for one, will not silently watch it all crumble.

    Thank you for taking action to raise awareness, educate and influence others toward responsible and compassionate action/choice.

    Blessings! ~ Gerean (The Animal Spirits)

    • I agree. I won’t sit by either. Truthfully when I started down this path a few years ago I had no idea how big the issue was and what a crisis we are facing on so many levels with so many species. I have chosen elephants because I needed to focus to make a difference but the environment and all the critters in it need all the help they can get. Thanks for stopping by. Let’s stay in touch.

      • A friend of mine, who was constantly overwhelmed with more responsibilities than he could handle used to say to me, “I don’t even know where to start, so I just throw a dart and wherever the dart lands, I start there.” It is like this in the world today. The issues relating to over-population, the raping and destroying of Earth and all that is in it and the complacency of man are an overwhelming dart-board just waiting for the collective majority to step into the game. Elephants, Co2 emissions, water availability, the removal of natural habitats, the death of the oceans and the pending results of the world’s six mass extinction are the dartboard, pick up a dart and throw.

        Glad to be in touch. Please continue to write/lend voice.

        ~ Gerean

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