Ivory Trade Makes Headlines in China

December 18, 2013

The elephant poaching crisis has gained national attention in China—a coup in the effort to stop the demand for ivory.

In the battle to save elephants, a key step is raising awareness of the poaching crisis and educating consumers about the true costs of ivory. One month ago, an influential Chinese newspaper, the Southern Weekly, ran a front-page story titled “The Blood Ivory: Behind the Largest Ivory Smuggling Cases in China.”

The story exploded on Chinese digital and social media, reaching 7.5 million viewers through Southern Weekly’s posts on Weibo, the country’s Twitter/Facebook hybrid. The article drew much needed national attention to ivory as a funding source for terrorist groups, and focused on the role of Chinese demand and consumption as the main driver of the poaching crisis.

In October 2013, WCS arranged a trip for Southern Weekly reporter Yuan Duanduan to retrace the ivory trade from China back to Africa. He was accompanied by staff from the WCS China program and visited three protected areas in Africa to fully grasp the depth of the crisis.

Read the press release >>

Read the translated Southern Weekly article >>
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