B1 Intermediate UK 2235 Folder Collection
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'The African elephant, the largest animal on Earth, is under threat.
'Some herds are being decimated at an alarming rate.'
We're truly worried about the future of elephants.
Some places have lost almost all their elephants.
'They are still being hunted for their ivory despite a trade ban in place for more than 20 years.'
Oh, yeah, here it is.
Ask him about the elephant that was killed.
These people are armed, very well armed - G3s, AK-47s.
'Even the youngest are in the firing line.'
Kasigau over there has got a clear wound.
'And seizures of illegal ivory are at a new high.'
What is at the heart of the illegal killing of elephants in Africa
can be summarised in one word - money.
How much is this one? 'We go under cover to find the ivory dealers.'
10,000 for one?
'We see the new technology being used to track down the criminals.'
These poachers are hammering the sam area over and over and over again.
'We go on the trail of the poachers, smugglers and organised crime syndicates
'into a web that stretches to south-east Asia and beyond...
'to the biggest ivory buyer of all.'
90% of all the people we have arrested at our airports ferrying ivory...
..are Chinese.
China is the future for elephants. If China can curb its demand...
..elephants will survive in Africa.
One, two, three, four, five, six, seven,
eight, nine, ten, all right?
'But can this demand be stifled?
'Or is it already too late?'
'Port Klang near Kuala Lumpur. It's the busiest port in Malaysia
'and the last stop for vessels heading to the Far East.'
'For three months, Customs have been tracking a container from Africa.
'Intelligence has alerted them to contraband hidden deep within packing crates.
'Inside, a shocking discovery.
'Nearly one and a half tonnes of illegal ivory,
'worth almost a million pounds, the equivalent of around 150 dead elephants.
'And all this at a time when an international ban is supposed to stop the killing.'
We found that the container was full of...
Despite a 23-year international ban on the trade in ivory,
all indications are that demand is booming,
getting higher and higher each year.
Last year saw the highest number of large seizures of illegal ivory
for over two decades.
'Up until the middle of last year, Malaysia hadn't made a single large ivory seizure in nearly a decade.
'This is their fourth large bust in just five months.'
All we're doing here is stopping the smuggler
from getting his products. It's really good.
We need more of this, so we shut down the business.
'Today, Malaysia is the latest country to emerge for ivory smuggling,
'but it's just one of the many staging posts around the world
'in a multi-million-pound criminal trade.'
It takes a large amount of organised activity to be able to move
and manoeuvre all these activities to the product ending up in Asia,
so one can assume it's organised crime.
'So to understand the links in this chain, I'm going back to where it all begins - Africa.
'Man has always hunted elephants here - for meat, sport and for ivory.
'Its tusks were traditionally used in carvings, piano keys and even false teeth.
'Today, some conservationists fear killings are so out of control
'that elephants could soon disappear for ever in parts of the continent.
'Kenya - a popular safari destination.
'Tourism is essential to the country's economy,
'but even here in Samburu in the north,
'a place where elephants have recently thrived,
'there are alarming new signs,
'sickening images tourists rarely see.
'I'm following the trail left by elephant poachers.'
We're on our way with Stephen, who is the conservation warden for the West Gate Community here,
because we've heard that there's an elephant which has been killed,
the carcass of which is, I think, not very far away.
Oh, yeah, here it is.
This was killed right here? It has been killed using bullets, a gun.
Six rounds.
Death always brings this disgusting, high, sweet smell
and it seems to sort of hit you in the stomach and cling to your skin and your hair,
but more than the smell, actually, it's the shocking sight of this adult female elephant
with her face having been hacked off because the poachers wanted to take the tusks.
'Older elephants, due to the size of their tusks, are most vulnerable to the poachers' snares and guns.'
How old was this elephant?
So a full, mature...?
She was pregnant? Yes.
'The warden thinks two poachers were involved in the slaughter.
'Just a few feet away lie the remains of the elephant's dead baby.'
These are also the ribs. The ribs.
Oh, these are the ribs of the little elephant? Yeah.
You can see now. Yeah.
'The carcass was found just outside the gates of Samburu National Reserve.
'It's a base for Save The Elephants, a charity founded by Iain Douglas-Hamilton.
'Iain witnessed the decimation of Kenya's herds in the 1970s and '80s when numbers plummeted.
'They recovered after the ivory trade ban was agreed in 1989.
'But in the last three years, Samburu has lost a quarter of its elephants,
'in large part due to poaching.'
At the moment, we're having a poaching spike.
It's worse than it's ever been before.
This spike is very serious because if it got out of hand,
it would threaten not only elephants,
but also the communities around.
'Poaching has an enormous impact on the herd as a whole.
'Elephants live in a matriarchal family where females lead the group.'
They really live in a multi-tiered system
of many, many relationships radiatin out into the whole population.
We've been able to show through experiments
that a given female knows at least 100 other adult females just by voice alone.
The loss of any individual in a family is really profound, particularly adults.
When one of them dies, it is a major, major event
and you can see that they actually mourn the death.
Any calf that she has that is under the age of, say, two or three,
is definitely going to die
unless it's rescued somehow.
'It's a constant battle to try and stay one step ahead of the criminals.
'Gilbert Sabinga works for Save The Elephants.
'He is mapping where poachers have been active as part of a system called MIKE.'
So all these red dots here...?
And there's a lot down here in this area.
'Technology is a vital tool in monitoring and protecting the animals,
'but it's a huge challenge in the 165-square-kilometre reserve.
'Eight elephants are fitted with a satellite collar.
'It sends text messages to a radio antenna and tracks their routes.
'If the signal stops moving for a matter of hours, it could be a sign of a poacher in the area,
'so the team spring into action.'
That's a warning sign?
'Today, Gilbert wants to check up on two matriarchs
'called Wendy...
'and Mercury.
'The team wants to make sure their herds are safe from poachers active in the area.'
So, Gilbert, you've just done the whole thing with the antenna and found not Wendy, but Mercury? Yeah.
And they're just the other side of the river here? Just this side of the river here.
'First, we find a straggler separated from the group.'
We know that they must be around here somewhere because that young male elephant we just saw,
basically doubled back in this direction to try to find the rest of the herd.
Actually, the signal is very strong on that side.
'Then suddenly, we spot the herd in the distance.
'The family is all accounted for and safe from the poachers...for now.'
So there's Mercury. She's the head of this family.
You can see around her neck the collar with the beacon on top of it that's sending this signal.
That's how we've been able to trace her.
It's amazing seeing them with their little baby elephants and how protective they are towards them,
making sure that they travel in between two of the adults.
'But some families are not as lucky as Mercury's.
'Some of the poachers' youngest victims end up here - an elephant orphanage just outside Nairobi.
'This morning, it's feeding time for the babies.
'Tourists pay to see them up close. The money goes towards their upkeep,
'along with funding for anti-poaching teams.'
Come on. Come on.
'Abdul is one of the orphanage's most experienced keepers.
'He looks after the orphan Kihari and, as her surrogate mother,
'feeds, washes and even sleeps beside her every night.'
These ones were about six months old They have witnessed maybe
their mother being killed by poachers.
When they come here, they are so traumatised, they are so sad.
Sometimes you'll see baby elephants staying away from the others, their head bowed down, not happy at all.
'Poaching numbers have nearly doubled in the past year alone in Kenya.
'The youngest are abandoned as their tusks don't show until around two or three years old.
'They're of no value to the criminals.'
It's only when you get quite close to the elephants
that you see some of the wounds that were inflicted upon them.
Kasigau over there has got a clear wound just below his right eye
and Rombo has got a hole in one of his ears because of an arrow.
'Abdul says the orphans have nightmares, reliving the poachers' attacks,
'and so need constant reassurance.'
'But when the elephants are reintroduced into the wild, they may be at the mercy of the hunters.
'I'm on my way to see what the poachers are after - raw tusks.
'They're locked away in the offices of the Kenyan Wildlife Service on the edges of Samburu.
'It's a dangerous area. Just days before we arrived,
'people were shot in cattle-rustling skirmishes.'
These captured tusks are at the very heart of this story of the trade in illegal ivory
and they're a really pitiful sight, not just because you see the smashed-up, blooded tusks,
but they're also a reminder that no elephant is spared,
from large bull elephants whose tusks weigh nearly 30 kilos to little baby elephants
whose tusks weigh no more than two kilos.
So how do these poachers operate?
It's 5am.
Andy Marshall, a former SAS officer, is head of security
in charge of a 50-strong army.
A dead elephant has been discovered on a private nature reserve of 100,000 acres.
The owner has been attacked by poachers.
Today, they are following a tip-off from an informer.
These people are armed, very well armed.
G3s, AK-47s, because with the price of ivory,
everyone is going to chance their luck.
Andy suspects criminals have buried tusks from an elephant they killed ten days earlier.
This morning, they hoped to catch one of the gang red-handed and recover the ivory.
But they're too late. The poachers fled the camp. Only a young boy is left behind.
The team hunts for clues on the gang's whereabouts.
Ask him about the elephant that was killed.
What about his father? Does he know?
And the three men that came to get its tusks?
But the little boy seems too scared to help.
This trail leads nowhere, but poaching is drawing in communities across Africa.
You have local people going out to make money to feed their families and to survive,
so they're your on-the-ground poachers that are recruited,
then you have professional poachers
that are moving into different regions or provinces.
All tend to link in to the same distributors.
Zambia - southern Africa.
On the outskirts of the capital Lusaka, they're tracking down the distributors and criminals.
The authorities are stepping up enforcement in key nations all over Africa
and Zambia is one of them.
Interpol is launching its biggest ever operation against the illegal ivory trade,
involving 14 countries across the continent.
David Higgins is Interpol's man on the ground, advising the hard-pressed local law enforcement.
We want to detect, apprehend and suppress the criminal activities.
We want to be able to demonstrate that over the next nine days.
This road is the main smuggling route for ivory poached from the nearby national park into Lusaka.
Today, officers have set up a road block.
Good afternoon, sir. All right?
Please park over here.
The operation includes officers from the Zambian Wildlife Authority, local police and customs
and has been in planning for nearly a year.
We got a lot of intelligence information,
linking us to a lot of people in Lusaka,
some of them that are keeping ivory in their homes.
After three days, the first proper breakthrough.
Officers prepare to arrest a suspected smuggler they have been tracking for two weeks.
The officers are concerned he may be armed.
Do you want me to break the door?
Open the door!
Please, sit down. Sit down.
The suspect is found with two raw tusks stashed under the bed, worth £2,000.
If found guilty, he could get anything from five to 15 years in jail.
The officers get a break as they get more information about the gang.
They set up a rendezvous with another of them, but they shoot the suspect's tyres as he tries to flee.
Inside his van, ivory, but more importantly,
a wealth of intelligence on the smuggling syndicate.
This guy, actually, it has taken us more than ten years to apprehend.
For years, officers have only known the suspect under an alias,
but now they hope to discover his true identity.
They take him to his home to search for details on his buyers and the rest of the network.
The phone might be of value to you. Oh, yes.
Oh, right, yeah, his order. His order.
Just give us any documentation.
If you don't have your passport, just give us something.
The individual offered them a bribe
in the vicinity of 20,000 US dollars.
He would then no doubt get that from somebody higher up.
Otherwise, if he could get away, they won't get access to the entire chain and that vital information.
Eventually, they discover a passport and he is revealed
as a citizen from the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo.
Officers plan further arrests.
The suspect will be charged with smuggling and bribery.
So far, the operation has led to numerous arrests,
as well as the seizure of ivory and guns and more are expected.
Official figures show increasing levels of poaching last year, the highest in a decade.
The key is cracking the syndicates who move the ivory around the globe.
Most of this plundered ivory is heading out of Africa.
At Nairobi's international airport,
Dick, the sniffer dog, is on a training exercise, searching for tusks.
Kenya, with one of Africa's biggest airports, is a smuggling hub.
Nearly 85% of ivory seized from around the world either comes from or passes through East Africa.
And Kenya's Wildlife Service has identified a startling link among the traffickers.
90% of all the people we have arrested at our airports...
..ferrying ivory are Chinese.
And the destinations of all contraband ivory,
it's always neighbouring countries around China.
Since 2007, the amount of seized ivory has gone up by 800% in Kenya.
This Chinese woman and two companions were arrested at the airport
with a suitcase stuffed with goods.
Years after Europe's colonialism ended,
Africa is witnessing a new scramble for its natural resources,
including ivory.
And there's a new big player in town - modern China.
The place is awash with its money.
China's dynamic economy is changing Africa's landscape and its cities for ever.
And its footprint can be seen from one end of the continent
to the other.
China has emerged as the leading driver of the illegal trade in ivory
For the first time in the history of continental Africa,
you have large numbers of Chinese living in Africa,
collecting the ivory and shipping it out.
And this is an incredibly potent force
when coupled with the fact that they probably have more finance available
than almost any other investor in Africa today.
So which countries in Africa is all this ivory coming from?
Cutting-edge DNA technology is being used to help solve that question.
These samples of ivory seized in Kenya are being tested.
The process will help local law enforcement to pinpoint where the elephants were killed.
Kenya has become a very important transit point for this ivory.
It's very important to know where it came from.
First, the team grinds the ivory to a powder to extract its DNA.
This DNA is then matched to Dr Wasser's previous DNA map of Africa which is compiled
from elephant dung samples.
When they are matched up, the two sets of DNA reveal where the elephant has come from originally.
We've found consistently that these large seizures have not come from multiple locations.
They have come from a core location, so these poachers are hammering the same area over and over again.
And elephants have been hit hardest in one part of Africa in particular.
Elephants are believed to exist in 37 sub-Saharan countries
with numbers estimated at between 500,000 and 700,000.
In Southern and East Africa, estimates, now five years old,
suggest numbers were actually growing by 4% a year.
But in Central Africa where poaching is rife,
it's feared numbers are plummeting.
There could be as few as 60,000 elephants left alive.
Elephants are threatened by many factors from the loss of their natural habitat
to the ever-growing human population.
And monitoring also shows that elephant killings are on the rise,
according to the man who oversees all the data.
Since about 2006 or so there's been a sustained increase
in illegal killing overall. That doesn't mean the same pattern
is happening in every part of the continent, but overall in Africa there's been a sustained increase.
Poaching thrives where governments and security is weakest.
One place more than any other in Africa is synonymous with chaos
and the destruction of its elephant population.
The Congo. One of the largest rivers in the world.
The country it flows through was once a byword for the most brutal excesses of colonialism
and ivory was at the heart of it all.
Today it's a failed state, blighted by a bitter civil war which has claimed millions of lives.
And the ivory trade continues.
The Democratic Republic of Congo is one of Africa's largest countries
and it sits at the very heart of the continent, but numerous reports say the elephant population
is being hammered by poaching.
The DRC is also consistently identified as one of the top countries
linked with the illegal trade in ivory.
'Much of this ivory is from the forests of central Africa, sold openly in large unregulated markets
'like this one in the capital, Kinshasa.
'These black markets provide an outlet for poachers, carvers and smugglers.'
And this... I think this is a paperweight.
And this is a little elephant that's been carved out.
With a lion. 'Behind the coverings, large carvings, but the sellers are camera-shy.'
What's in here?
Can we see it? ..No, they're not letting us.
'All this is going on in plain sight of the market supervisor.'
The reason why they're actually covering up some of the stalls
is because it actually houses the ivory we want to see
and when we tried to actually ask them to have a look underneath, they refused. But it's everywhere.
'We've been in the market in Kinshasa, for example,'
and estimated the ivory from more than 200 elephants has been on the tables for sale on a single day.
These markets are patronised by ex-pat communities, Chinese business...
Chinese nationals are some of the biggest buyers, so we send in our Chinese colleague,
this time armed with hidden cameras, to see if the sellers would be less reticent.
'They approached me straight away
'and one actually say, "Xiangya." That means ivory in Chinese.
'They were targeting me.'
'I felt a little bit nervous, so before I left we exchanged telephone numbers.
'I said I would contact him later.'
A couple of things. I have spoken to my people from...from my place.
I'm also interested in a very big tusk. That would be nice.
And the raw ivory so I can take it back with me.
That same afternoon, our colleague returns for a second meeting in our van,
under the nose of local police. We have no intention of seeing the deal through,
but we want to see what's for sale.
One, two, three, four, five, six, seven...eight, nine, ten.
All right. You've got ten here, but it's all very, very small.
'The guy came back with a very, very big tusk.
'I have never seen a tusk so big in my whole life.
'The tusk is the same width as the van.'
Our investigator, anxious not to fuel the trade, declines the deal and cuts off all contact.
Within 24 hours of being here in Kinshasa, I've been offered ivory for sale
and I've seen it being openly traded throughout the market stalls here.
And what's more, my Chinese colleague was offered very large pieces of ivory,
in fact, whole tusks for sale and export.
I never imagined it would be so easy to buy ivory here in Kinshasa.
There's the, um, tusks. Ivory tusks.
'We wanted to see if what we'd found confirmed other reports about China's role in this trade.
'We took our footage to a campaigner with expertise in the field.'
Being Chinese,
I feel really ashamed of this image
the Chinese present in Africa.
You know, you come to a market and they approach you with, "Xiangya, Xiangya!"
Obviously, they recognise Chinese are the buyers.
And at the heart of this trade is an elephant found primarily in the forests of central Africa.
Smaller than their savanna elephant cousins, their ivory is straighter and pinker.
Hidden away, they are difficult to track, making it hard to attract tourists and money.
This leaves them especially vulnerable to poachers.
And according to some scientists, it's a whole new species that's under threat.
African elephants represent two species.
Forest elephants and savanna elephants.
The forest elephant has an extra toe. Genetically, they are as different as the lion and tiger.
The Congo Basin is thought to have once had over 100,000 elephants,
but in the DRC today there could be fewer than 20,000.
A possible new species under threat of extinction.
Forest elephants are so important to this ecosystem. They are being annihilated and we can't stop it.
The illegal trade in ivory seems to be booming in spite of a global ban.
So what's going wrong?
The 1989 ban rules out international trade, but domestically countries regulate their own markets
where some ivory can be sold.
But four years ago, CITES, the body which overseas the wildlife trade, lifted the ban
to allow four southern African countries to sell stockpiled ivory to China and Japan.
Some say it was a move which changed everything.
When that trade ban was put into place, ivory prices dropped.
And that, effectively, controlled poaching.
However, as soon as that one-off sale is allowed,
ivory prices start going up, people start wanting the ivory
and poachers start killing the elephants.
CITES has found no direct link between the legal sales and increased killings or trade.
But the arguments are likely to be reignited later this year
when more African countries are expected to put in requests to sell stockpiled ivory.
Supporters say countries that properly protect elephants should be allowed to profit from them.
It's so vital that local people
and the countries where elephants are present in large numbers
get economic benefit from the use of ivory.
Local livelihoods are already tight in Africa and the more that wildlife
can help to contribute and pay its way, the more interest there will be in conserving it.
But those opposed to allowing further sales say it will only fuel demand
and could threaten all of Africa's elephants.
It's true that the elephant populations in southern Africa
have been doing particularly well over the last 20 years.
What is going to happen when the elephants of the Congo are finally wiped out
when the elephant populations of east Africa are under siege?
I think the demand to be satisfied, if it remains at the present level,
will inevitably have to move south
to exploit those secure populations and they will see what's coming.
'If Africa's elephants are under so much pressure, is there any way to curb the flow of ivory?
'I'm following one of the routes of smuggled ivory here to Malaysia, south-east Asia.
'Its ports are one of the main gateways for smuggling contraband - cigarettes, alcohol, drugs
'and, of course, ivory.'
And in one six-month period alone, five seizures were made, amounting to six tons,
the largest ever such haul in Malaysia. To put that into context,
those six tons of ivory would have come from approximately 700 elephants.
Nine million containers pass through this port every year.
Royal Malaysian Customs are in charge of searching out contraband smuggled by the crime syndicates.
'I'm out on patrol with three teams, just outside Kuala Lumpur.
'Today they are doing a routine stop and search.
'Barter boats like these are just one of the many vessels used to smuggle ivory into the country.'
The boat's from Indonesia, going to Malaysia. Most carry vegetables
and also...fish, crabs, some seafood.
'They check the ship's manifest and inspect the cargo.
'Everything's in order and the captain's allowed to carry on to port.
'It's an almost impossible task to keep track of all the ivory heading to China.'
You've seen these gangs increasingly trying to use Malaysia as a transit point
for this illegal ivory.
When you actually look at the containers themselves,
it strikes you that without any intelligence as to where to look,
it must be impossible to find the illegal ivory that comes in these containers.
'Last year they got a break when a port worker tipped them off about a shipment from east Africa.
'They took me to their heavily-guarded strongroom, which has never been filmed before,
'to view the captured tusks.'
We're going to be shown the ivory from two large seizures
from August and September of 2011.
In this one room, there's over 1,400 pieces of ivory.
The combined weight is over 4,000 kilograms
and they have an estimated black market value of £1.2 million.
'Wildlife crime is thought to be second only to drugs in terms of profit.
'It's suspected these two containers of ivory, marked as recycled plastic, were from the same gang.
'There are few leads and no arrests so far.
'The hauls are just a fraction of the smuggled ivory sent to try to satisfy demand in the Far East.'
China is definitely the largest end destination
for ivory products, trinkets.
For some reason it sells very well in China.
So with the overwhelming demand coming from just one place, that's where my journey leads to next.
I'm here now in Hong Kong, but over there is the Chinese mainland.
China is the biggest importer by weight of illegal ivory in the world.
'I wanted to investigate China's voracious appetite for ivory,
'its fascination with shaping, carving and trading it.
'Lee-Cheong Leung has been working and sculpting ivory for more than half a century.
'He is one of the last master carvers working in Hong Kong today.'
What is it about ivory that the Chinese like so much?
TRANSLATED: I think this is linked to the traditional culture of the Chinese.
When you look back at the history of China, spanning 3,000-4,000 years,
when we dig and find things from our past, they're often made of ivory.
Mr Leung says he carves from legal stocks acquired before the international ban of 20 years ago.
He also uses legal ivory from the extinct woolly mammoth.
Mammoth ivory, dug up from the frozen wastes of Siberia,
is softer, darker and not as highly prized as elephant ivory.
When you're working with this ivory, knowing where it's come from,
that animals have died in order to provide this tusk,
do you feel a sense of personal conflict?
TRANSLATION: First of all, I should explain
that when I carve ivory, I use very little raw material.
The natural life cycle of elephants through illness and death means
there's enough ivory for me to carve anyway. And each carving takes years.
'One of Mr Leung's regular customers is Elsa Lao, owner of the restaurant based next door to his stall.
'I wanted to view her valuable collection of ivory pieces
'to see why it's so prized in China.'
Tell me what's inside this box. OK. You can see inside.
Wow. How much would, for example, this spoon cost?
How much? About...
5,000. 5,000 Hong Kong dollars. Yes, Hong Kong dollars.
Which is about £500. Mm-hm. Yes.
That's expensive.
'Miss Lao says her love of ivory is part of the family tradition.'
Do you think you'll keep buying more ivory in the future? I hope so. I think I will.
And she's just one of many with money to spend here in booming Hong Kong.
And the money here is just a fraction of the wealth over on the mainland.
That's why the rules on buying ivory are so crucial.
The 2008 one-off sale of African ivory to China
depended on the country demonstrating proper regulation of its domestic market.
Every ivory shop must be registered
and every item on display has its own unique identification card,
so that every piece of ivory can be tracked after sale.
We wanted to go from here in Hong Kong to mainland China
and see if the regulations are working. We didn't get permission,
but, undeterred, we sent in an undercover team instead,
including the colleague who had secretly filmed for us in Congo.
We headed to Guangzhou in southern China.
It's been at the heart of the ivory trade for centuries.
And China's economy is expanding rapidly.
There is more disposable income in China than in history.
Ivory has the cachet of being a luxury status commodity
and more people than ever before are able to own a piece of ivory now.
The demographics of China
absolutely swamp anything.
So how is China policing its trade in ivory?
Our first stop for the undercover team was the state-owned Friendship store,
situated alongside the likes of Gucci, Dior and Prada.
Here carvings sell for hundreds of thousands of pounds.
It's a shop licensed by the authorities to sell ivory.
We wanted to see if all the elephant ivory items for sale came with the necessary certificates.
Not true. Every elephant ivory item on sale should have a certificate.
There is no evidence the store is selling illegal ivory, but we saw many items without certificates
and it's not clear if the shop had them.
There was also some confusion from the saleswoman about how the ivory is obtained from the animals.
'A survey of Chinese people showed many were also unsure of where the ivory comes from.'
7 out of 10 people do not even know
the ivory they buy from the shops comes from elephants killed
because in Chinese elephant ivory literally translates as "elephant teeth".
So people think if it's teeth, it's very easy.
You know, it can fall off, it will grow back in.
Finally, to test whether there really was any paperwork, we bought a necklace clasp worth £15.
We left the shop with the elephant ivory, but no one gave us the ID card.
What we found is that 75% of the Chinese consumers,
if they have a chance to buy ivory with a cheaper price without the ID card,
they would prefer not to have the ID card.
Failure to give a certificate with each sale of legal ivory
undermines China's commitment to regulate its market.
It's impossible to be sure what's legal and what isn't.
Responding to our secret filming, the Friendship store in Guangzhou said all of its ivory products
complied with regulations and that sales records from the day we filmed
showed they had all the necessary paperwork.
'But it's not only us who have tracked this problem.
'Numerous reports have suggested China's domestic market is riddled with holes.'
What we found is in Guangzhou and a small town called Fuzhou, also in southern China,
is that 63% of the items did not have the proper identification.
The regulations also say you need to have it close by to the individual piece.
That wasn't always the case.
So if the supposedly regulated system is in disarray, how easy is it to access the black market?
Another stop for our undercover team was a market in Guangzhou.
Reports suggest Guangzhou is a hot spot for the trade
and this appears to have made dealers wary.
At first, there is no sign of ivory at all,
but then a seller shows us photos of various ornamental carvings.
Finally, she begins unpacking small samples from various boxes around the shop,
which includes a lady's bracelet.
The equivalent of £200.
And after chatting for a while, she agrees to email us more images of her stock.
We have found that every one legal activity
comes with nearly six illegal ivory trading activity.
So this domestic market provides opportunity
for people to launder illegally-obtained ivory.
The dealer comes back as promised and we arrange to meet to see the samples first-hand,
again with no intention of buying.
Is she really going to deliver so quickly?
She brings out two ornamental pen holders.
But the biggest item in her stock is an uncarved tusk,
the most expensive piece at £4,000.
Eventually, she offers 15 items of ivory
worth nearly £50,000.
All this delivered within just 24 hours of asking.
We cut off all contact.
And Guangzhou wasn't the only place we were offered large pieces of illegal ivory for sale.
In Fuzhou, we were also offered two pieces.
Again, it was delivered within hours of our arrival.
Now the man who collects the data on the illegal ivory trade
concedes the sale to China may have made things worse.
Did the allowance of legal ivory to go into China exacerbate a situation?
One could probably argue now, with hindsight, that indeed it did.
It created perhaps an image in the mind of many potential Chinese consumers
that it was OK to buy ivory.
The Chinese government did not accept our request for an interview,
but in a statement it said it had...
It said a range of measures including tougher law enforcement and improved public education put...
And any possible breaches
shouldn't be used to deny...
But from top to bottom, our undercover team found evidence
that the rules on ivory sales were being flouted.
Even in a state-run shop, ivory was sold without the proper paperwork.
It confirmed what many feared - that the legal trade provides a channel
for illegal ivory to get onto the market.
Some campaigners still see re-education as the key.
At the moment in China, there's a lack of awareness
of the consequences of buying,
but if the buying stops, the killing can, too.
Time is running out, though.
Last summer, the Kenyan government made a dramatic gesture to try to get the world to take notice
of the plight of Africa's elephants.
We must send a message out there to all illegal groups
that trading wildlife...
That wildlife has no value other than the way God had created them to be.
335 tusks
and over 40,000 ivory pieces, worth millions of pounds, went up in smoke.
It will be tragic for this world to lose the biggest animal on Earth to poachers,
for no reason other than their ivory.
At the present rate, I don't see it letting up and some countries will lose all their elephants.
And that's just tragic.
On my journey, I've seen that despite an international ban meant to protect an endangered species,
elephants are facing a grave crisis.
The question now: if more countries are allowed to sell their ivory, too,
will it simply declare open season on all of Africa's elephants?
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Panorama - Ivory Wars: Out of Africa (12 Apr 2012) [BBC]

2235 Folder Collection
water published on February 26, 2017
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