Sunday, 1 May 2016

Tinkering with the Ivories?


The burning of millions of pounds worth of confiscated Elephant ivory by Kenya authorities makes a serious point (http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/apr/30/kenya-to-burn-largest-ever-ivory-stockpile-to-highlight-elephants-fate), namely that the elephants are worth much more alive to that country (and to the planet?) than the poacher's premium. There has been some debate about whether the destruction might drive up the price and increase poaching activity but I do think that treating ivory as a 'crop' (even if the resulting money is directed at conservation) would be a mistake. The trouble is that the amounts of money involved are very attractive to poachers, middle men and the ivory carvers with their clients. Breaking this inducement will be difficult.

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