Saturday, August 25, 2007

Arresting evidence

State-of-the-art forensic technology is forcing us to face the reality that even our most applauded trade bans and moratoriums aren’t working. From ivory cell phones to shark fin soup, it’s all available—at a price.

By Natasha Loder. Conservation magazine.
July-September 2007 (Vol. 8, No. 3)

Inside a glitzy store in one of China’s port cities is a room that might shock you. Low lights, shiny glass, and mirrored cabinets: the room is a temple to ivory. It’s all available at a price, from tiny figurines to massive high-end carvings and even entire carved elephant tusks. A new report by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) (1) in the U.K. says it’s a similar story all over China. Trade in ivory goods is flourishing, from key holders and chopsticks to pendants, bead earrings, and hankos. Given enough money, it is even possible to buy an ivory mobile phone. It all begs a simple but unsettling question: where does all this ivory come from 17 years after the international trade was halted? (Read more of this article here).