Ethiopia destroys six tonnes of Ivory as part of their efforts against wildlife poaching
25th March 2015 As part of efforts to curb wildlife poaching in the country, Ethiopia has destroyed its entire stockpile of illegally poached ivory. The six tonnes of tusks, carvings and jewelry were burned in the country’s capital, Addis Ababa.
The move is also mainly to protect the Ethiopia’s wildlife by discouraging poachers who have contributed immensely to the loss of about ninety percent of the country’s elephants since the nineteen eighties. Authorities have said more than seven hundred suspected poachers and traffickers have been arrested in the past five years.
To light the stockpile of the tusks was the country’s Deputy Prime Minister, Demeke Mekonnen who performed the ceremony in the middle of a Botanical Garden in the city, flanked by Police and park officers. He described the ceremony as “a vital stepping stone” in the formation of more strict anti poaching laws.
The ever-increasing demand from Asia for ivory and ornaments has caused a surge across sub-Saharan Africa in the past few years for wildlife poaching, with gangs killing elephants and rhinos for their tusks and horns. A UN and Interpol report from 2014 states that about 20,000 to 25,000 elephants were killed in Africa every year, out of a total population of about 650,000.
Nations are fighting back however, it is recalled that Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta, destroyed fifteen tonnes of ivory recently. China has placed a one year ban on ivory importation, and the presidents of Botswana, Gabon, Chad and Tanzania have also pledged to honour a 10 year moratorium on the sale of ivory.