If you are looking for EIA UK, it's overhere.

EIA Condemns Establishment of Rhino Horn Trade Desk

By Taylor Tench, Assistant Policy Analyst

EIA condemns the establishment of Rhino Horn Trade Africa (RHTA), an initiative launched yesterday by the South Africa-based Private Rhino Owners Association (PROA). The RHTA describes itself as an “entity created to provide a legal, managed and efficient market place for the sale of legally acquired rhino horn” with a goal of ostensibly securing the long-term survival of rhinos. Despite its stated objective, the RHTA is out of step with global rhino conservation efforts and the PROA risks inciting a renewed wave of rhino poaching by overlooking or downplaying serious flaws associated with legal rhino horn markets. Legal trade in rhino horn, both domestic and international, will serve only to increase demand and exacerbate poaching of rhinos throughout their range in Africa and Asia.

There is no market for rhino horn in South Africa, and international trade in rhino horn has been prohibited under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) since 1977. Parties to CITES recently reaffirmed their commitment to upholding in the international trade ban in rhino horn at the 17th meeting of the CITES Conference of the Parties, where a proposal by Swaziland to rescind the international trade ban was overwhelmingly defeated by a vote of 100 against and only 26 for (with 17 abstentions).

Moreover, rhino horn trade remains illegal in China, Vietnam, and Taiwan, which have historically driven the demand for rhino horn. In fact, Vietnam implemented a new Penal Code on January 1st, 2018, that criminalized rhino horn possession and significantly increased penalties for rhino horn crimes. Just last year Vietnam’s CITES Management Authority issued a notice declaring their steadfast commitment to fighting rhino horn trafficking and reminding the public of the laws prohibiting trade in rhino horn and elephant ivory.

Given the absence of a market in South Africa, a majority of countries firmly behind the international trade ban, and domestic trade bans in place in demand countries, it begs the question as to whom constitutes the PROA’s target consumer base. It is no secret that highly-organized criminal syndicates are associated with rhino poaching and horn trafficking in South Africa, which in turn facilitates corruption and fuels deadly violence. South Africa has struggled to convict these poaching and trafficking kingpins, and one of the PROA’s most high-profile members, John Hume, has previously expressed no concerns about potentially supplying criminal syndicates with product to be trafficked abroad when discussing his controversial online auction held in August 2017 (at which, despite much fanfare, zero rhino horns were actually sold). The very existence of the RHTA, a voluntary entity, provides opportunities for unregistered rhino horn owners and criminal traffickers to undercut the RHTA’s corner of the market and offer rhino horn at a reduced, but still substantial, price that would continue to drive poaching.

China, Vietnam, and other destination countries along the rhino horn trade chain have spent significant resources in recent years on demand reduction efforts and are committed to educating the public about the threats rhino horn trade poses to the survival of rhinos in Africa and Asia. Promoting domestic legal markets for rhino horn and lobbying for international commercial trade undermines these demand reduction efforts and complicates the already difficult job of customs and enforcement authorities.

EIA strongly supports a global ban in rhino horn trade, both domestic and international, supported by effective enforcement to ensure lasting protection for the world’s rhinos.

View all Blog Posts

Recent Blog Posts

Celebrating the Life's Work of Dame Daphne Sheldrick, Savior of Elephants in Africa
04/20/2018
Last week, the wildlife conservationist community, and more importantly the world’s elephants, lost one of their most important and avid champions when Daphne Sheldrick, savior of hundreds of orphaned African elephants, died on April 12 in Nairobi at the age of 83.
Mourning the Loss of Esmond Martin
02/05/2018
The loss of Esmond Martin, found dead in his Nairobi home over the weekend, is a tragic development not just for his family, friends and colleagues, but for the entire international community and all those who supported the protection of Africa's elephants as well as its rhinos.

Recent Reports

Search, Reuse, and Destroy: How States Can Take the Lead on a 100 Billion Ton Climate Problem
02/14/2019
Preventing emissions of fluorinated refrigerants such as HFCs from “F-gas banks” is the single biggest near-term strategy to reduce greenhouse gases. The IPCC special report on limiting global warming to within 1.5˚C also underlined need for faster and deeper HFC emission reductions beyond those anticipated under full implementation of the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol.
Tip of the Iceberg: Implications of Illegal CFC Production and Use
11/02/2018
Just six months after scientists revealed unexpected and high emissions of CFC-11, much has been done to address this enormous environmental crime. China has responded with an unprecedented nationwide enforcement action and has shut down at least one illegal CFC-11 production factory. The Parties to the Montreal Protocol unanimously responded at OEWG-40 to the crisis and will agree vital next steps at the 30th Meeting of the Parties in Quito, Ecuador.

Recent Press Releases

EIA Statement on the Wildlife Conservation and Anti-Trafficking Act of 2019 (H.R. 864)
01/30/2019
EIA strongly supports the Wildlife Conservation and Anti-Trafficking Act of 2019 (H.R. 864) introduced today by Representatives John Garamendi (D-CA) and Don Young (R-AK).
Investigation Reveals Hanko Demand Drives Japan's Illegal Ivory Trade
10/10/2018
Nearly 200 retailers in Japan are willing to sell ivory hanko knowing the sought-after name seals are destined for export which is illegal, a new investigation reveals.

Recent Videos

象牙のハンコ:日本の違法な象牙取引&アフリカ ゾウの悲劇の元凶
10/10/2018
日本における象牙製ハンコへの需要の興りは、 象牙業界がもたらした現代的な現象である。
How Ivory Hanko Destroyed African's Elephants and Drives Japan's Illegal Ivory Trade
10/07/2018
Japan’s demand for hanko made of elephant ivory is a modern phenomenon driven by the country’s ivory industry.
Tell Yahoo! Japan to Stop Ivory Sales!
Yahoo! Japan is the largest internet seller of ivory in the world. Lend your voice and tell Yahoo! Japan to cease all ivory sales to protect elephants!
Follow us @eiaenvironment on twitter for the latest updates!
SHARE THE LATEST: The Dirty Secrets of Japan’s Illegal Ivory Trade
Support Domestic Ivory Trade Bans!
Don’t Buy From Icelandic Whalers
Help EIA stop ivory trade to protect elephants!