Sell Ivory Stocks And Make A Difference

Ivory. The ban on the sale of ivory has not really had the dramatic impact on poaching of elephants that was desired. Further, there are enormous stockpiles of ivory gained from raids on poachers. The conundrum – what to do with all the ivory? Many have seen the broadcast images of giant piles of tusks lit ablaze, drama indeed. On the one hand, destroying the stocks prevents it from going to market and sends a clear signal of futility to the poachers. On the other hand, getting all that ivory to the market would reduce prices of illegal ivory and would make poacher’s lives harder. But how to sell it and who gains? One sensible approach is to monitor and provide central oversight on selling the stockpiles at fair market value, and putting the proceeds back to the artisan villages and, more importantly, back to the families of the wildlife offers on the front lines fighting the poachers. They need much more funding to prevent corruption. Research and other conservation efforts, such as an elephant DNA bank, could also be funded.

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