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China’s Ivory Crush Is Important First Step

Photo of Chinese customs officers standing guard in front of confiscated ivory and ivory products at Chinas first public ivory destruction event.
Chinese customs officers stand guard in front of confiscated ivory at China’s first public ivory destruction event. (Photograph by Song junyu, Imaginechina/Reuters)

In a surprising step, China last week became the latest in a growing number of countries to publicly destroy large quantities of ivory to bring attention to the global trade in illegal ivory. From any angle, China’s move has important and positive implications for the fight against an illegal ivory trade that is killing tens of thousands of African elephants every year.

Still, not all ivory destruction ceremonies are alike, and when it comes to the illegal ivory trade, China is not just any country.

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