China, known to have the biggest ivory trade in the world, has announced their plan to end this type of trade by the end of 2017. All commercial processing and sale of ivory will discontinue on March 31, 2017, followed by all registered traders being phased out and ending with a full stop at the end of the year.
— CNN (@CNN) December 31, 2016
“Setting such an aggressive timeline to close – once and for all – the largest domestic ivory market in the world is globally significant. It’s a game changer and could be the pivotal turning point that brings elephants back from the brink of extinction,” Elly Pepper, deputy director of wildlife trade for the Natural Resources Defense Council, said.
Because of the killing of elephants for the ivory trade, their population has shrunk by a third.
China had already committed to banning ivory trade, but committing to a timetable of action has really surprised many. Their plan will also include strengthening enforcement, educating people about this horrific trade market and helping provide work to ivory carving masters.