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Protests are held as Hong Kong lawmakers debate ivory ban

Dec 04, 2015 Environmental groups and students recently staged a protest outside the government headquarters in Hong Kong, as lawmakers prepared to debate a motion to ban elephant ivory trade in the autonomous city.

According to legislators, the proposed motion is part of the government’s drive to curb wildlife smuggling and explore further restrictions on the Hong Kong ivory trade.

Acting Secretary for the Environment Christine Loh, said that although the debate was not binding, it however influence any government decisions.

“There is a generational change and I don’t just mean with young people. I actually think that Hong Kong is going through a change where we see wildlife protection as much more important. And Hong Kong has been very successful in persuading people without actually passing laws, not to consume sharks fin for example. So now in terms of ivory, this is an area that has received tremendous local and international concern,”

Ebisan Ekperigin, an 18 year old Nigerian student said:

“Elephants are very crucial to the eco-system, especially in West Africa where the elephants play a very major role. Especially in the food chain and other ecological activities. But then consider that it also plays a very big role in the lives of the locals who live with the elephants. So then we must realize that if we stop the ivory trading, these locals must find alternative sources for finance and for income,”

Another protester, Mary Grace Hillard said:

“Well considering the fact that I really like elephants and I really do not support killing in any form, I’m really appalled at this and I’m really shocked that Hong Kong hasn’t already put in a complete ban. And I know that they have made and attempt but I don’t think that it has been effective enough. And I know that people are making their way past the system. And I really think this needs to be put into full effect and stopped completely.”

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