China Destroys six tons of Elephant Ivory however, it was a hugely symbolic move
Last month, authorities in China publicly destroyed more than six tonnes of confiscated elephant ivory. Though a significant event, its ramifications for the illicit ivory trade are unclear.
Some China apologist like the WWF hailed it as sending a clear message to poachers and smugglers that the black market in ivory is over; others that destroying ivory could increase prices and criminal profits, and ultimately lead to a rise in poaching; while many were puzzled by the apparent waste of a valuable commodity.
Undoubtedly, however, it was a hugely symbolic move. The official reason behind this public declaration of intent was that it would send a zero-tolerance message to poachers.
Perhaps the action was also taken in view of the growing evidence of the illegal wildlife trade’s destabilizing influence on international security, or a desire to protect threatened wildlife, or even to protect China’s international reputation and trade relationships with key African countries.