China has destroyed 6 tons of black market ivory in an effort to quell the illegal ivory trade that is damaging elephant populations in Africa:
Forestry and customs officials organized what they said was the country’s first large-scale ivory destruction in Dongguan in southern Guangdong province, where much of China’s ivory trade is focused.
Conservation groups say China is the world’s biggest market for ivory. Demand is fueled by rapid growth in the world’s second biggest economy, which has created a vast middle class with the spending power to buy ivory carvings prized as status symbols. Ivory can fetch up to $2,000 a kilogram on the black market, earning it the nickname “white gold.”
Officials said the 6.1 metric tons of ivory destroyed was just a portion of the illegal ivory held by China, though they wouldn’t disclose how big the country’s total stockpile is. The destroyed ivory came from shipments from Africa intercepted by customs officers as well as from carving factories and shops in China.
China crushes 6 tons of ivory in landmark effort to cut illegal trade (Al-Jazeera America)