Ivory Trade (1)

Varsha Ramnarine Singh

See "Ivory Trade (2)" by Victoria Bicknell for Episode Pitch, The Missing Elephant in The Room.

Week One

Hsiang, Solomon. (2018). “Debate: Would a legal Ivory trade save elephants or speed up the massacre?” The Guardian, 01 Oct. 2016.

Hsiang’s article is one that highlights one of the biggest worries about the legality that surrounds the trade of elephant tusks, better known as ivory. It begs the question, if the trade of ivory were to become legal, would the elephant population continue to decrease or become sustainable. In relation to the idea of legalizing ivory trade, Hsiang brings up the fact that in 2008, it was once legalized and ended up backfiring. This article brings to light the issues of legalizing ivory trade both past and present, along with its effects on the population of these majestic creatures. 

Jennings, Ralph. (2018). “China Will Remain an Elephant In The Room Even After Its Ivory Ban.” Forbes, 5 Jan. 2018. 

Jennings' article presents China's position following their recent ban on the trade of ivory. After their recent ban, China is being looked at from a different perspective from fellow countries around the world. In Africa, numerous countries are applauding their ban, while others are focussing their concern in the possible increase of the black market. As the possession of carved ivory is seen as a status symbol in China, many countries are wondering if the trades ban will increase the usage of the black market in order to obtain these. Overall, Jennings' article highlights the possibility of an increased black-market sale of ivory due to their ban that was places on December 31st, 2017. 

Week Two

WWF, “African Elephants”. WWF Global. 

This article by the WWF is one that gives a basic rundown of the African elephant population. Here they cover everything from the weight to the threats which the species has been facing. Having been updated in 2017, this information is recent and up to date. One of the most important topics which this article covers is the threats that the African elephant population has been facing. The biggest problem that the elephants have been facing by far still continues to be the international trade of ivory despite the bans and conservational efforts that have been put forth. The WWF hopes that through widespread awareness, more people will learn of the mass slaughter that is quickly depleting the African elephant population, hopefully allowing for the species to thrive once again.

Doward, Jamie “Pressure Grows for UK to Bring in Blanket Ban on Ivory Trade.” The Guardian, January 7th, 2018. 

Doward’s article is one that presents the position of the United Kingdom following the recent ban that have been put in place against the trade of ivory worldwide. The current issue that the UK government faces surrounds their current allowance of the sale of ivory. In recent years, a poll that was taken revealed that the majority favored a complete ban to be placed on the trade of ivory in the nation. If the government were to go ahead in this favor, they would have to abolish a bill which bans the trade of ivory produced only after 1947. The position that the UK currently faces is one that will hopefully lead them to follow suit with fellow countries worldwide in banning all trade of ivory.

Week Three

Rabson, Mia “Canada must do more to stop trophy hunting of elephants, conservationists say.” Toronto Star, November 28th, 2017. 

Rabson’s article is one that addresses the issue of the decreasing elephant population in Africa. In Canada, the trade of ivory is permitted. Statistics brought forth in Rabson’s article highlights the staggering numbers that make up the domestic trade of ivory between 2007 and 2016. Within this time frame, Canada has allowed the legal importation and trade of 2,647 mammals, 83 of which were elephants. Canada is one of the four countries in the world that still allows for the domestic trade of ivory. An animal rights group called the "Elephanatics" are the driving force of this article as they continue to prompt the Canadian government to join other countries in the ban of domestic and imported of ivory trade.

Government of Canada, “Wild Animal and Plant Trade Regulations.” Government of Canada.  

The Wild Animal and Plant Protection and Regulation of International and Interprovincial Trade Act or WAPPRIITA, is the federal law that regulates the trade of both animal and plants, dead or alive. Overall, this is the Canadian law which allows for the trade of ivory in the country. The Wild Animal and Plant Trade Regulations however, is the list that identifies the various species which are regulated under these rules. Under Schedule I, the Walrus, Rhinoceroses specifically the Southern White Rhino, Asian and African Elephants are included in this list. These are just a few of the named species that are subjects of the ivory trade.

Week Four

Goldman, Russell “Endangered Rhinos Flee From Indian Floods Into Poachers’ Hands.” The New York Times, July 11th, 2017.

Goldman’s article is one that highlights the status of the one horned rhino following the monsoon season of 2017. He discusses the danger that these creatures face due to the high rise of water in the Kaziranga National Park in India. During the monsoon season, heavy rainfall leaves their home flooded, resulting in larger animals such as elephants to move towards safer areas. Unfortunately for the one horned rhino, they ended up seeking refuge further away from the patrol range making it more difficult for authorities of the park to keep an eye on them. Already being an endangered species, the one horned rhino is at high risk of being killed for their ivory the further out from the parks boundaries they go.

Breeden, Aurelien “White Rhinoceros Is Killed for Its Horn At Wildlife Park Near Paris.” The New York Times, March 7th, 2017. 

Breeden’s article is one that highlights the tragic event that took place at the Thoiry Zoo near Paris France. In March of 2017, a four year old white rhino, was shot and killed for its horn. According to the article, the poachers managed to get into the sanctuary, shoot the rhino, and then proceeded to saw off one of its horns before getting away. This is devastating as Vince was one of the small population of white rhinos left in existence as they are extremely endangered and close to extinction. In addition this has never happened in Europe before and the caretakers were shocked. This example shows the extent that humans are willing to go to obtain and partake in the trade of ivory.

Week Five

Beachey, R. W. “The East African Ivory Trade in the Nineteenth Century.” The Journal of African History, vol. 8, no. 2, 1967, pp. 269–290. JSTOR, JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/179483

In Beachey’s article he addresses the idea that the Eastern African Ivory Trade is ancient and has been going on for thousands of years. Dating back to the second century A.D. the ivory trade was recorded to have been more prominent than slavery at the time. He says that its thought that the search for ivory is what brought Europeans there in the first place. In addition the reason that the ivory from the Eastern Africa was in such high demand, according to Beachey, the ivory there was soft and therefore ideal for carving. This article explores the ivory trade and its reason for gaining popularity. 

Rauniyar, Ishwar “Nepal’s Rhino Numbers Rise Steadily Thanks To Anti-Poaching Measures.” The Guardian. 16 May 2015. 

Rauniyar’s article highlights the possibility of what could happen if anti-poaching measures are properly enforced. He discusses how the once depleting population of greater one horned rhinoceroses in Nepal was down to a staggering 375 left due to poaching. Ten years later, in 2015, their population has now increased dramatically to 645. This success is attributed to the 1,100 plus soldiers that patrol the Chitwan National Park 24/7. Nepal is a model for what other countries facing animals valued for their ivory should attempt to follow in efforts of preserving and helping these animals. 

Week Six

De Pintado, Beatríz Sanchez Navarro. “IVORY CARVINGS.” Artes De México, no. 190, 1976, pp. 97–99. JSTOR, JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/24324410

Beatriz’s article on ivory carvings is one that talks about the historical and cultural use of ivory through the years. He discusses the use of ivory in Mexico, India and Spain, explaining how ivory was used in each country and what purpose it served. He particularly talks about statues and carvings that were made up of multiple materials, ivory included and what significance it held. Overall, Beatriz’s article highlighted the importance and ancient historical and cultural use for ivory in various countries around the world. 

Wasser, Samuel, et al. “Elephants, Ivory, and Trade.” Science, vol. 327, no. 5971, 2010, pp. 1331–1332. New Series, www.jstor.org/stable/40544600

In Samuels article, he addresses the trade of illegal ivory out of Tanzania and Zambia. In 2010 when this article came out, researchers found that majority of the ivory sold and traded both legally and illegally out of these countries was beyond the agreed amount following the policies that were put in place during the moratorium. During 2002, 2006, and 2009, Tanzania and Zambia were found to have exploited the ivory moratorium illegally for their own benefit. Samuels article shows just how far some countries have gone in the past to trade ivory both legally, but mostly illegally.