Is Ivory A New Phenomenon? Essay

Is Ivory A New Phenomenon? Essay

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The use of ivory is not a new phenomenon in today’s society. Since prehistoric times, ivory has been used in different cultures for a variety of reasons. What is new is the rate at which ivory trade is occurring globally. Starting in the early 1970s, attention was starting to form around global ivory trade and its negative effects on both humans and the environment. In Africa especially, much attention is being brought to the soaring death rates of elephants due to a massive increase in poaching rates. While globally, there is a demand for ivory, Africa and Asia are the two key players in the trade. Most ivory is flowing from African to Asian consumers. Even locally and between neighboring countries, there are intricate networks of ivory trade routes and markets causing a truly complex geography.
Thanks to the global ivory trade, not only are elephants being killed at unsustainable rates, but increased wars and crimes are occurring especially in African countries. With significant negative effects of global ivory trade present, there are steps being taken to stop it. In 1989, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) created an international ban on ivory sales. Today, there is also much investment being made in new technologies to track both poachers and ivory being traded illegally. Different countries globally are trying to work together for better regulation and collaboration in the fight to stop illegal ivory trade. Even so, there is more that can be done in order to protect the future of both elephants and humans from the harms of global ivory trade.

History/Why Do People Want Ivory?
Before understanding the effects of global ivory trade, it is important to fi...


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...t may be called global ivory trade, there certainly are key players. In general, Asia and Africa are the two main players in sustaining the ivory trade. Today, the most ivory is obtained illegally from Africa and both sold and manufactured in Asia. The smaller markets in Asia include India, Sri Lanka, and Nepal, although illegal activity still does exist in these countries (UNEP et al., 2014). At the time of the 1989 CITES ban on ivory trade, the largest local ivory markets were found in Hong Kong, Japan, Thailand and Taiwan (UNEP et al., 2014). Currently, China is the world’s largest destination for ivory. For much of the 20th century, traditional ivory markets including Europe, North America, and Japan had flourished, but in the last few decades (most recently Japan), ivory markets have dwindled in these areas thanks to campaigns and higher awareness of conservation

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