Wednesday, October 29, 2008
For the first time in almost ten years there was a "legal" auction of ivory this week. The government of Nambia sold almost eight tons of ivory for $1.2 million. The group, CITES, (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) that sanctioned the sale of this ivory to China and Japan claims that proceeds from the auctions must be used exclusively for elephant conservation and community development programs in or near elephants' range. To the extent that oversight in something as high profile as "Oil for Food" failed miserably, the Clarion Content has little faith that an NGO will be able to assure how and where these African governments spend their money.
We agree with the Born Free Foundation that, "[The sale] will stimulate, not satisfy, the massive demand for ivory in countries like China. It will do nothing to re-educate customers (in China and Japan) that buying ivory is signing an elephant's death warrant."
Worse, Geneva based CITES has agreed to sanction three other sales of slaughtered elephants' tusks later this month.
Elephant murder has been so common place for so long that there are good arguments to be made that the very fabric of elephant society has been destroyed. The Clarion Content is not a proponent of "lifeboat" ethics, but neither do we believe that rapid animal extinction is good for Gaia and its inhabitants.