Saturday, 28 March 2015

Malawi to burn its £5m ivory stockpile this week - and demonstrate its commitment to wildlife conservation

Plans for the world's most expensive bonfire proves that saving the elephant is ultimately worth more to the impoverished country

Sunday 29 March 2015
The world’s poorest country is to make the world’s most expensive bonfire. On Thursday, Malawi will set fire to ivory worth more than £5m, in an extravagant gesture designed to demonstrate its commitment to wildlife conservation and the fight against the colossal worldwide business of wildlife crime.

Almost four tons of ivory is held in Malawi’s stockpile, and it is going to burn the lot. This will be done on the roof of the parliament building, and the march to the incineration will be led by the president, Peter Mutharika, wearing a polo shirt bearing the message “Stop Wildlife Crime”.

The plan follows the burning in Ethiopia earlier this month of six tons of tusks and carved ivory. There are reports that Kenya will burn a further 15 tons in the coming week. But the Malawi burning is the most remarkable.

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