Success: China Suspends Ivory Trade


Target: Chinese Deputy Director of the State Forestry Administration Madam Yin Hong

Goal: Applaud the temporary ban on ivory sales in a country that makes up a huge portion of worldwide ivory sales.

In response to growing international concern over the looming extinction of elephants, many governments are implementing and updating ivory policies, but few have been so important—at least symbolically—in the war against elephant poaching as China’s suspension of ivory carving sales. This moratorium, albeit temporary, is a huge step forward for one of the world’s leading ivory consumer markets. A previous Forcechange petition called for an end to China’s legal ivory trade, and thanks to the international community’s demand that the trade be stopped, legal ivory may soon be a thing of the past.

According to the New York Times, 70 percent of the world’s illegal ivory is bound for China, a country that has taken center stage for the consumption of ivory in recent years, following the nation’s economic growth. More and more Chinese can now afford the coveted status symbol and demand has never been higher. While that demand represents huge gains for the Chinese people, it also represents the wasted lives of tens of thousands of elephants every year.

The battle to end elephant poaching has been fought at every step of the supply chain for many years, but China has made surprisingly few moves to stem its enormous demand for ivory, single-handedly fueling a huge portion of the supply. It seems, however, that the tide is shifting thanks to organizations, individuals and the global community at large. China’s year-long suspension on the sale of ivory carvings is only a small step from a massive contributor to the ivory trade, but it is the first of its kind and proof that if the conservation community continues to demand the rescue of our dwindling elephant population, the species stands a chance at recovery.

Sign this petition in support of China’s commitment to end the ivory trade.


Dear Madam Yin,

The global ivory trade is responsible for the slaughter of tens of thousands of elephants every year. These gentle giants are being killed at such a rate that they face the very real possibility of extinction. China is responsible for 70 percent of the international market’s ivory demand and, until quite recently, seemed not to have any plans to change that.

While China surely is not the only country with a seemingly insatiable craving for ivory, it is one of the few involved in the trade with such limited ivory restrictions. Even bordering countries whose ivory demand is low have made the trade illegal.

China’s recent suspension on ivory carvings, however, gives hope that your country has finally decided to confront the elephant in the room: without the demand for ivory, the supply will dry up.

I support and applaud China’s efforts to join the war on elephant poaching and help save this important species.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service via Flickr

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One Comment

  1. Thank you Chinese Deputy Director Madam Yin Hong for doing the right thing. Now these beautiful Elephants can now and hopefully live in peace. Again Thank you

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