UK, China united in fight against illegal ivory trade
The UK's foreign secretary says his country and China are united and working closely to eradicate the illegal ivory trade. He also said that by closing down its domestic ivory market, China has struck a blow against elephant poachers.
Chinese and UK officials call for all-round efforts to stop the ivory trade. [Photo provided by WWF UK to China Plus]
The Foreign Secretary was commenting on China's ivory ban which came into effect last month. He was speaking at a briefing held at the Houses of Parliament in Westminster on Wednesday.
"I think we should all be very encouraged by China's decision not only because of the practical impact we hope it will have but also because it demonstrates the birth of a new global consensus that buying or selling ivory is no longer acceptable anywhere."
Boris Johnson said that the UK and China are united and working closely in stamping out the illegal ivory trade. He hailed China's new policy as a milestone in the fight against poaching and the illegal wildlife trade.
"China's enlightened and far-sighted decisions will give humanity a better chance of halting and eventually reversing the tragic decline of the African elephant."
The briefing was jointly organized by World Wild Life Fund, the State Forestry Administration of China and the Chinese Embassy in the UK to celebrate China's commitment to ending commercial processing and sales of ivory in its domestic market.
Tanya Steele, CEO at World Wild Life Fund UK, said that China's ivory trade ban is a crucial step in tackling the illegal wildlife trade and she called on other countries to follow suit.
"China's leadership sends a very important signal to both the ivory trade elsewhere in the world and indeed to consumers. We now call on neighboring countries to also consider their ivory bans. Whilst China has made an incredible commitment, it cannot do this alone, no single domestic ivory ban will eradicate this trade. "
Minister Zhu Qin from the Chinese Embassy in the UK said that China has been working actively with the international community on wildlife protection.
"China has worked with relevant countries from Asia, Africa and North America to carry out Operation COBRA to crack down on illegal trade of ivory and other wild life products. These operations have yielded positive results."
Zhu said that cooperation on wildlife protection between China and the UK has deepened over the years and China is looking forward to attending this year's Illegal Wildlife Trade Conference to be held in London in October.