by John Hopton
In a landmark decision, the Chinese government has decided to put an end to all ivory trading. This comes on the back of a resolution made through the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) passed in October in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Understandably, the move has been warmly welcomed by conservation groups globally, with some describing it as "game-changing". With somewhere in the region of 70 percent of the ivory trade finding its way to China, the country is home to the largest market in the world. The much sought after material can cost more than $1000 per kilogram.
An 'aggressive' timescale
After stating the main crux of the ban, China's State Council disclosed that the sale and processing of ivory will cease by March 31st, 2017. All registered traders will have until the end of the year to close down the market, with the plan to eradicate the practice entirely by then.
The news was welcomed by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), stating that it was a "historic announcement... signaling an end to the world's primary legal ivory market and a major boost to international efforts to tackle the elephant poaching crisis in Africa".