“The Ivory Trade of Laos: Now the fastest growing in the World, ” Save the Elephants, 2017
This report highlights how complacent and ineffective CITES seemingly is as a regulatory body when it comes to stemming internationally banned trade in endangered species products.
Despite the on-going efforts to curb ivory working/trading within China itself, mainland Chinese openly buy post 1990 (ie. poached) ivory in Laos (from predominantly Chinese owned establishments apparently):
“Mainland Chinese buy over 80% of the ivory items in Laos today.“
“Nearly all the items seen for sale today originate from illegally imported (post-1990) ivory. There is virtually no law enforcement so shops are able to display these items openly.”
“In recent years, the ivory trade in Laos has expanded more rapidly than in any other country surveyed, for one major reason: effective law enforcement and control of the illegal international ivory trade are practically non-existent in Laos.”
If elephant poaching is to decline and give wild elephant populations the chance to stabilise/survive, then enforcement and demand reduction are fundamental.
Why are the rest of the parties to CITES and the international community not seeking compliance from Laos (and from China etc.) on the implications?
“Laos has remained a backwater, keeping a low profile at international conferences, and has not been held sufficiently accountable on the international stage for its significant role in the ivory trade and in commerce in other endangered wildlife products.”