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UN highlights a drop in trafficking of elephant ivory and rhino horn

UN highlights a drop in trafficking of elephant ivory and rhino horn

The illegal trafficking of ivory of elephant and horn rhinoceros has fallen at the rate of decline hunt poaching of those two protected species thanks to better law enforcement and greater international awareness.

This is one of the highlights of the World Wildlife Crime Report released this Monday by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

However, the report indicates that although the reduction in trafficking of these two species that have become symbols of the conservation struggle has improved, the volume of illegal trafficking of wild flora and fauna has not decreased in general.

In the case of elephant ivory and rhino horn, while black market demand has driven poaching of these species for decades, a series of coordinated efforts appears to have begun to bear fruit, according to the report.

According to the document, the annual gross illicit income from the elephant ivory trade reached approximately $400 million during the period from 2016 to 2018, while rhino horn generated nearly $230 million annually in the same period.

The last decade has seen a notable decline in poaching and market prices for both products.

Thus, for example, if the number of elephants killed by poachers in 2011 or 2012 exceeded the number of animals killed by other causes, in 2021 there were 260 elephants killed by poachers, while more than a thousand died from other causes.

Asia, and especially China, are the places where these two products have traditionally been most in demand as luxury goods or associated, in the case of rhinoceros horn, with traditional medicine remedies based on superstition.

This progress is largely attributed to strict trade bans and legal actions aimed at dismantling illegal trading networks.

However, the report emphasizes that there is no room for complacency. The large one-off seizures of ivory and rhino horn that still occur are a stark reminder that the black market remains highly lucrative.

In addition, emphasis is placed on the importance of continuing to reduce demand through awareness and education campaigns, as well as continuing with policies that address both illegal supply and demand.

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Source: Gestion

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