Live from Abu Dhabi Connect the World takes you on a journey across continents, investigating the stories that are changing our world.
Every day, 100 African elephants are killed for their ivory. In an unprecedented move, China destroyed more than 6 tonnes of it last week in an attempt to clamp down on this predominantly illegal trade.
On the Chinese black market ivory can fetch up to $3,000 per kilogram. It’s not just elephants that are affected. Believed to have healing properties, rhino ivory is used in traditional Chinese medicine.
On Friday, Becky spoke to Heather Sohl, the World Wildlife Fund’s chief species adviser in the UK, about the actions of the Chinese government.
“It was absolutely a fantastic sign to see. It shows that they are wanting to address this as a serious issue, recognizing that most of the illegal ivory that is coming from Africa is heading to China where it’s used in carvings and sold as ornaments, jewelry, and very often requested as gifts.”
“It’s making huge amounts of profits for these criminal syndicates, and yet the risk of being caught is very low.”
This February the UK government will hold a global summit on illegal trade in wildlife, which David Cameron will be attending, along with high-level representatives from as many as 50 states.