Congo, UAE Combat Poaching

Congo, UAE Combat PoachingCongo, UAE Combat Poaching

Republic of Congo President Denis Sassou Nguesso set fire to nearly five tons of elephant ivory in a symbolic gesture at an illegal wildlife trade conference Wednesday, UPI reported. Accompanied by Chad President Idriss Déby, Nguesso burned the seized ivory as part of a ceremony to mark the first meeting of the International Conference on Illegal Trade in Wild Fauna and Flora in Africa. "The Republic of Congo joins a growing list of countries opting to burn or crush ivory stockpiles as a means of sending a global message on the plight of elephants and a warning to would-be traffickers," said John Robinson, executive vice president of Wildlife Conservation Society. Congo's symbolic gesture came only days after the UAE crushed nearly 11 tons of elephant tusks and ivory carvings confiscated in the Persian Gulf, according to the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW). While UAE is not a major destination for smuggled Ivory, it is a key crossroads for the trade due to its extensive air and sea links to Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. IFAW estimates that 25,000 to 50,000 elephants are killed for their tusks each year. Most of it is destined for China and other Asian markets.