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Investor concern over methane risks on the rise. It should worry industry.

Many operators continue to ignore the financial and reputational risks methane poses, with potential implications for the entire industry.

How blockchain could soon upend America’s power markets

The energy market may eventually be a bigger user of blockchain than the financial services sector.

How blockchain could soon upend America’s power markets

The energy market may eventually be a bigger user of blockchain than the financial services sector.

Congress is working to enshrine into law Trump’s bad decisions on national monuments

Michael Reinemer

The House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Federal Lands conducted hearing today on H.R.

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China Bans Ivory Sales to Save Elephants

China Bans Ivory Sales to Save Elephants

Elephant_With_Trunk_In_Others_Mouth

Adapted from post by Molly Bergen of EarthShare Member Conservation International.

Last year, China announced plans to phase out its domestic ivory market — a major development acknowledging the growing threat poaching poses to Africa’s dwindling elephant population, which has been cut in half in only 25 years.

On January 1, 2018, the ban finally went into effect. It’s a big step in the effort to stop poaching and save elephants. Anticipation of the ban has already had a positive impact, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council: the wholesale price of ivory in China has fallen by more than 50% in the last three years.

While there has been an international ivory trade ban since 1989, many countries such as China have maintained domestic markets, which allow the resale of ivory imported before 1989. However, this legal trade of older ivory is frequently used as a front for the illegal import of newer tusks. Around 2002, there was an uptick in elephant slaughter across Africa just as an economic boom was expanding the income of millions of Chinese — and making the purchase of ivory carvings, a common status symbol, more attainable.

According to Keith Roberts, executive director of Conservation International’s wildlife program, it’s too soon to tell what exactly the full impact of the new ban will be.

“On the one hand, it’s great that China has put a time frame on the closure of their markets; it reveals the country’s political will to address the ivory poaching crisis,” he said. “However, there are a lot of unknowns. We are dealing with transnational organized criminal syndicates, and ivory has been and continues to be a lucrative business for them. Therefore, I would expect the market to go underground, and this may well push the price of ivory up and further encourage the killing of elephants.”

Because closing the markets doesn’t actually stop the consumer demand for ivory, it won’t necessarily stop the problem on its own.

“Closure of the markets is step one,” Roberts continued. “Step two must be the government getting serious about disrupting and arresting those involved in the criminal syndicates that are responsible for most of the poaching. Step three should be a campaign to push for the closure of the legal markets in neighboring countries, which are regularly used by Chinese traders to source contraband.”

China’s professed willingness to expand its involvement in this global crisis is critical to reduce the ivory trade, especially given Africa’s ongoing struggles to fight poaching on the ground. And other countries, including the US, must step up to protect elephants too (find out how here).

Could 2018 be a turning point for Africa’s elephants? Time will tell.

More information:
Poaching Crisis: Africa’s Wildlife on the Brink, EarthShare
African Elephant Facts, African Wildlife Foundation
To Save Elephants, It Takes a Village, Conservation International

Land exchange sacrifices Izembek wilderness for road development

Kate Mackay

Obscure Alaska road project sets destructive precedent for wilderness

The Department of the Interior has agreed to a secret “land swap” that would would open a portion of Izembek National Wildlife Refuge to a road that could endanger numerous migratory birds, brown bears and caribou while threatening to close off access to sportsmen.

How electric trucks could disrupt highway transport and save businesses billions

Tesla is among a number of auto manufacturers that see a robust, long-term market for zero-emission electric trucks.

Interior Department withdraws climate and mitigation policies

Alex Thompson

The Interior Department has once again quietly canceled important public lands protection policies, this time focusing on mitigation and climate change in a new

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Interior Department withdraws climate and mitigation policies

Alex Thompson

The Interior Department has once again quietly canceled important public lands protection policies, this time focusing on mitigation and climate change in a new

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