Le trafic d’ivoire continue/ Ivory traffic continues

Un trafic international d’ivoire lie l’Afrique au continent asiatique (voir Topix.net – en anglais, aussi Traffic.org). En effet, La Chine, le Japon et la Thailande sont des “destinations de choix” de l’ivoire congolais (RDC), nigérian et camerounais. L’ivoire transige par Hong-Kong, Taïwan, et Macao pour se retrouver en Chine. Les Philippines servent de transit pour les marchés japonais et thaïlandais.

Le présence chinoise sur le continent africain a ses effets pervers. Les plus grande saisies d’ivoire ont impliqué ce trafic vers l’Asie et ce sont des réseaux mafieux chinois implantés en Afrique qui en sont responsables.

On peut rajouter que le trafic d’ivoire dure depuis longtemps et que, selon le journal français Le Figaro, 23000 éléphants ont été tué par ce trafic en 2006.
Topix.net brings a report on ivory traffic involving chinese mafia rings:

Chinese-run smuggling rings based in Africa are responsible for illegal ivory imports nearly doubling in the past decade, according to a report published Thursday.

The Cambridge-based wildlife trade monitoring watchdog Traffic International appealed to the Chinese government to help control the problem.

‘It is imperative that China reaches out to the growing Chinese communities in Africa with a clear message that involvement in illegal ivory trade will not be tolerated,’ said Tom Milliken, director of Traffic’s Africa program.

Worldwide, there are an average of 92 ivory seizures a month _ or three per day, the report said. Thirty-two seizures of 1.1 tons or more of ivory were recorded between 1998 and 2006, up from 17 between 1989 and 1997, according to an analysis by the watchdog of international elephant product seizure records.

Markets in China are driving the demand for illicit ivory, which arrives either directly or through Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan. Japan and Thailand are also important final destinations, and the Philippines is a key transit country.

These seven countries and territories account for 62 percent of the ivory recovered in the 49 largest recorded seizure cases, the report said.

The study identified the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cameroon and Nigeria as major sources of illegal ivory.

‘With myriad conflict zones, Central Africa is currently hemorrhaging ivory, and these three countries are major conduits for trafficking illicit ivory from the region to international markets, particularly in Asia,’ Milliken said.

Ivory trading threatens elephant populations by creating commercial incentives for poachers. The ivory is used mostly to make decorations or luxury items.

‘This demonstrates greater sophistication, organization and finance behind the illegal movement of ever larger volumes of ivory from Africa to Asia,’ said Susan Lieberman, director of the World Wildlife Fund’s Global Species Program. ‘This is clearly a negative consequence of the ongoing globalization of African markets and economies.’

Traffic International monitors trade in endangered animals across Europe for the CITES Secretariat in Geneva.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

We can add, that, according to the french paper Le Figaro, 23000 elephants where killed for their ivory in Africa in 2006.