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	© Martin Harvey / WWF

WWF and ivory trade

WWF is committed to conserving elephant populations across Africa and Asia. Along with initiatives to protect their habitats and reduce human/elephant conflict, WWF is at the forefront of global efforts to stop elephant poaching and illegal ivory trade, which threaten the future of forest elephants in Central Africa and savannah elephant populations in East Africa.

At this time:
 
  • WWF does not support the resumption of the international commercial ivory trade.
     
  • WWF strongly discourages the consumption of ivory products.
     
  • WWF supports the closure of domestic ivory markets worldwide.

WWF does not support the resumption of the international, commercial ivory trade - now and until a demonstrably effective, enforceable and conservation-based management and compliance system is in place and adhered to by source, transit and consumer countries.

WWF considers that the current, global trade ban alone will not solve the ongoing elephant poaching crisis, since this threat is largely driven by illegal trade, facilitated by weak enforcement, and high levels of demand related to rising affluence in many consumer countries. Hence, WWF believes that, to have positive impact on elephants, the focus of conservation efforts must be on strong national plans in key countries to counter poaching and illegal trade of ivory and their rigorous implementation.

WWF acknowledges that the sustainable use approach adopted by certain African countries has proved successful for elephant conservation. WWF also understands the different approaches to managing elephants utilized across Africa and the potential funds that could be raised for conservation and communities.

WWF's position on ivory trade and demand reduction is based on the realities of current market dynamics: the low levels of traceability; the weak controls that are leading to illegal sales under the cover of legal outlets; the enforcement challenges; and the threat that wildlife crime poses to certain elephant populations at this time.

WWF supports the urgent closure of domestic ivory markets worldwide, recognizing that pragmatic exceptions could be made in a narrow category of antique products where a demonstrably effective, enforceable and conservation-based management and compliance system is in place, and which thus would not pose a major risk of illegal trade (e.g. cutlery, musical instruments, furniture with ivory inlay, etc.)
African elephant (Loxodonta africana), bull with large tusks. Amboseli National Park, Kenya.  
	© Martin Harvey / WWF
African elephant (Loxodonta africana), bull with large tusks. Amboseli National Park, Kenya.
© Martin Harvey / WWF
 
	© WWF / Folke Wulf
The number of ivory seizures worldwide averages 92 cases a month, or three per day.
© WWF / Folke Wulf

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