Today marks the first day that it is not legal to buy ivory anywhere in China.
The full ban went into effect yesterday, marking a year-long transition to phase out legal ivory sales. At this time last year, we were celebrating China’s announcement to do so, and we commend them for following through on schedule.
We’ve known for a long time that the ultimate way to save the elephants will be to shut down the demand for ivory. Big Life rangers work to stop the supply, but until eastern markets stop demanding ivory, the battle continues.
While we’re optimistic that this marks the turning of the tide, the immediate impact on the ground has been negligible. If anything, our growing informer networks have been stopping more ivory moving through our ecosystem bound for eastern buyers than ever before.
But WildAid reports that there’s been a 65% drop in ivory prices in China since the ban was announced last year. So we hope that this New Year’s news means the good tidings for 2018 that we hope it does.