UAE destroys more than 10 tonnes of illegal ivory

IFAW applauds UAE's decision and encourages other Middle East countries to join the UAE in taking a stand against the ivory trade. (Supplied)

The UAE destroyed over 10 tonnes of confiscated elephant ivory in a powerful symbol that raw and worked ivory pieces have no value and are driving to the current slaughter of elephants.

The event was hosted by UAE Ministry of Environment and Water and organized in conjunction with Dubai Municipality, Dubai Airports, Dubai Customs and International “IFAW strongly encourage governments to destroy all their stocks of ivory. Each year, between 25,000 and 50,000 elephants are killed for ivory, which means 1 elephant killed every 15 minutes” said Dr. Elsayed Mohamed, Regional Director IFAW Middle “IFAW is applauding the UAE decision and we are encouraging other Middle East countries to join the UAE in taking a stand against the ivory trade.” He added.

UAE is the first Arabian country to crush its ivory stocks, following the recent footsteps of the United States, China, UK, France, Belgium, Hong Kong, Ethiopia, Gabon and Kenya, which burned or crushed its ivory stockpiles.

The demand on ivory is fueling illegal ivory trade. Seizures of illegal ivory in the world continue to increase: 24.3 tonnes in 2011, 30 tonnes in 2012, and 41.5 tonnes in 2013.

Just last week, Security officials at Dubai International Airport have handed over 84 African elephant pieces destined from Ivory Coast to Vietnam. The amount was seized In 2012 and 2013, Dubai Customs seized shipments contain 474 tusks of illegal ivory at Jabel Ali port. In 2014, authorities seized of 301 pieces of ivory at Dubai International Authorities at Dubai International Airport seized 1,500 ivory products and tusks during IFAW applauded UAE authorities for their continued success of efforts to combat illegal ivory trade and to address the challenges that threaten elephant conservation.

“Most of the illegal ivory is sent to East Asia where this highly coveted “white gold” has seen its value as an investment vehicle rise considerably.” said Dr. Elsayed Mohamed.

The illegal wildlife trade generates an estimated US$19-billion a year, ranking fourth on the list of the most lucrative illegal activities in the world behind drugs, counterfeiting Starting in 15 May 2015, transit passengers at Dubai International Airport, will learn that ivory smuggling leads to prosecution. The advertising campaign will be launched by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and in collaboration with Ministry of Environment and Water, Dubai Police, and Dubai International Airport. The campaign In addition, the advertising campaign will be also displayed at Abu Dhabi International Airport in collaboration with Ministry of Environment and Water, Abu Dhabi Police, and As part of an international initiative aimed at strengthening the capacity to fight this trafficking, IFAW trains law enforcement officials on the prevention of illicit trafficking of wildlife species in several countries in Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Oceania, and the Caribbean. IFAW recently signed a memorandum of understanding with INTERPOL, the first ever signed with an NGO by the INTERPOL program on environmental crime.

IFAW and INTERPOL have collaborated on many projects since 2005, including last year’s largest ever international operation to fight against ivory trafficking.

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