African Elephant Coalition urges Japan to close ivory market

JOHANNESBURG, June 17  — The Council of Elders of the African Elephant Coalition (AEC) comprising 32 African countries and the majority of African elephant range states on Monday called on Japan to close its ivory market to help fight illegal poaching.

The AEC stated that the ivory market in Japan which is among the world’s largest if closed would help reduce illegal poaching of wildlife species.

“We believe that doing so will strengthen Japan’s international conservation image ahead of the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics,” said Azizou El Hadj Issa, chairperson of the AEC’s Council of Elders, in a letter to Taro Kono, Japanese Foreign Minister.

Issa requested Japan for assistance and collaboration to strengthen international measures in reducing the demand for elephant ivory “so that elephant tusks are no longer desirable objects.”

The coalition wants all African elephants to be listed in Apendix 1 to ensure that they are protected.
Elephants in Africa are split-listed with elephants in Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe in Apendix 2, which allows trade under certain circumstances. – XINHUA