Target: Japanese Minister of Environment Tamayo Marukawa
Goal: Stop domestic trade of ivory from elephant tusks.
Japan’s limited legal ivory trade is riddled with loopholes that allow for illegal trading in elephant tusk ivory. Following a decision to temporarily lift a ban on ivory trade in 1997, 2007, and 2008, illegal ivory trade has been on the rise as some stockpiled ivory from Zimbabwe, South Africa, Namibia, and Botswana was sold to Japanese and Chinese traders during this time.
Proof of legal origin for the tusks and ivory are bypassed with poor implementation of legislation and legal loopholes. Traders can register their ivory with the Japan Wildlife Research Center (JWRC) with little more than a note that claims legality, written by a friend, family member, or neighbor. An investigation by the Environmental Investigation Agency in the summer of 2015 found that up to 80 percent of traders they spoke with were willing to undertake illegal activity in relation to tusk and ivory registration, purchasing from unknown sources such as illegal poachers and selling ivory abroad to buyers in China and beyond.
Even though the Ministry for Environment knew about the vulnerabilities in the Law for the Conservation of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (LCES) as far back as 2001, they have done little to improve the checks and inspections of ivory being traded. They have allowed the abuse of this flawed system and illegal ivory trading has flourished, which is supporting the poaching of elephants for their tusks. It is time for the Japanese government to crack down and ban the trade of ivory. Please sign the petition below to show your condemnation for the Japanese Government’s lax legislation and call for a ban on the domestic ivory trade.
Dear Minister Marukawa,
The current Law for the Conservation of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora is allowing the illegal trade of ivory to flourish in Japan. An investigation by the Environmental Investigation Agency found that the lax systems in place allow for traders to easily register illegally obtained tusks and ivory, and it appears that the Ministry of Environment has been aware of this issue for some time.
Traders act with impunity, registering their unlawfully attained ivory with little more than a note from friends or family, purchasing their ivory from unknown sources, and selling it for huge profit overseas. There have been numerous chances over the years for the government and the Ministry for Environment to step up and tackle this issue with better laws and practices, but now it is time for more direct action. In order to effectively combat the illegal acquisition and sale of elephant tusks and ivory, that cause the slaughter of rare elephants, you must step up to to stop this illegal trade.
I urge you to respect the original commitments made to African nations, and the world, regarding the fight against illegal ivory trade. Please ban the domestic trade of elephant ivory in Japan.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Charles J. Sharpe