WCS Applauds Government for Rejection of International Trade in Ivory from Threatened Elephant Populations

A Statement Issued by Dr. James Deutsch, Executive Director for the Africa Program of the Wildlife Conservation Society

NEW YORK (June 28, 2012)—“Gabon becomes the second African country, after Kenya, to completely reject the ivory trade by burning their valuable stockpiles of confiscated and recovered elephant ivory.

When Kenya first did this in 1989, it helped lead to an international ban on trade in ivory, and that led to a collapse in the price of ivory and a remarkable recovery of East Africa’s elephants and tourism industry. We hope that Gabon’s courageous and symbolic action will have a similar impact, spearheading the protection and recovery of Central Africa’s critically endangered forest elephants.

WCS applauds Gabon President Ali Bongo and parks head Lee White, and we are proud that our staff member Mike Fay helped plan and lobby for this important gesture.”

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WCS’s elephant conservation efforts in Gabon are made possible through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Elephant Conservation Fund, the Liz Claiborne and Art Ortenberg Foundation, and other generous supporters.

The Wildlife Conservation Society saves wildlife and wild places worldwide. We do so through science, global conservation, education and the management of the world's largest system of urban wildlife parks, led by the flagship Bronx Zoo. Together these activities change attitudes toward nature and help people imagine wildlife and humans living in harmony. WCS is committed to this mission because it is essential to the integrity of life on Earth. Visit: www.wcs.org

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