The Philippines has announced that, come June 21, they will be destroying its national ivory stock.
The country is one of many that deal with illegal trafficking, ivory-trafficking being one of the Philippines biggest trafficking problems, according to National Geographic.
Smuggling of animals and products of animals, such as ivory from elephants, is a very common problem all over the world; a problem that won’t get better with the demand for these illegal products so high in many places.
Not too long ago, a Priest in the Philippines had been investigated over Ivory smuggling. In Kenya, Elephant poachers have had to face more rangers and tougher sentences for ivory smuggling.
Mundita Lim, director of the Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau (PAWB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources stated:
“The destruction of the items would hopefully bring the Philippines’ message across the globe that the country is serious and will not tolerate illegal wildlife trade, and denounces the continuous killing of elephants for illicit ivory trade.”
National Geographic continued on to say that PAWB will destroy all the ivory in its possession.
The only exception to this decision will be fore 106 pieces to be repatriated to Kenya and a few pieces to be retained for training, enforcement, and education purposes, says National Geographic.
The report continued on to say “Customs agents seized 7.7 tons of smuggled ivory in 2005 and another 5.4 tons in 2009.
“But a subsequent audit revealed that customs had “lost” almost six tons of this ivory, an act so suspicious that PAWB sued the agency.
“Customs turned its 2009 seizure over to PAWB, which soon discovered that it too had mice in its larder.
“Someone broke into its storeroom and stole more than 1.7 tons. The thieves even replaced the stolen tusks with excellent replicas made of plastic.”
As the demand for rare products such as ivory from elephants continues to rise in places such as Asia and China, the changes of smuggling ever becoming a thing of the past is slim-to-none.
The Philippines are hoping that by destroying their national ivory stock, they will be sending the message that they are not going to tolerate ivory smuggling anymore, but will the effort have the desired results?
[Image via Shutterstock/saddako]