The Environmental Investigation Agency delivers a damning report on Tanzania’s failure to address the mass slaughter of it’s elephants. The country, once heralded as a conservation champion for proposing the international ban on all African ivory trade in the 1980s, is now losing more elephants to poaching than any other country because of its lack of political will. According to the report, Tanzania is also the biggest source of illegal ivory seized around the world.
The report exposes government failures, corruption and collusion between corrupt officials and criminal enterprises as some of the major enablers, with many high level officials implicated.
Fueling the killing of elephants is the massive growth in demand for ivory in China. According to the report, the trafficking chain between Tanzania and China has become the biggest conduit for illegal ivory in the world. Shipment routes and methods are outlined, bringing to the fore the involvement of government and senior officials including Chinese embassy staff who allegedly sent ivory to China in diplomatic bags on the presidential plane during a state visit by the Chinese president in March 2013.
Main Photo: (Brent Stirton, Getty Images)