An adviser to US President Barack Obama is urging Hong Kong to ban domestic trade in ivory, saying its target of ending it by 2021 is not enough.
Patrick Bergin, the chief executive of the African Wildlife Foundation and a special adviser to the White House, blamed rising affluence in Asia for a second wave of poaching, which is decimating the world’s elephant populations.
He said it is crucial governments act on a resolution passed last week at the World Conservation Congress held in Hawaii to ban all domestic ivory trade.
Bergin told RTHK’s Mike Weeks that the world elephant population is close to extinction.
“A hundred years ago the estimate was that there 10 million elephants in Africa. That number is gone down, down, down. The most recent count, the best estimate is now 350,000. So we have lost 96 percent of this resource. That’s how urgent the situation is,” he said.