An elephant in Uganda's Queen Elizabeth National Park. Image by Rodd Waddington

Uganda

Between the Lines: The world’s most populated country and a globally known market for ivory trade made a historic announcement to end its ivory trade by the end of 2017.

 
A few days ago the Chinese Government came out in what appeared to be shocking news, but more appreciated as a brilliant start to 2017 for the conservation community and many people in the global tourism business, to make a historic announcement, bringing an end to the Nation’s domestic ivory trade by the end of this year. 
 
In a report by UK’s The Guardian, dozens of trade venues throughout the Asian nation will be closed in the next three months, in a move activists are calling ‘a gamechanger’. Companies, processors, traders and agents that have been dealing in legal ivory trade will be phased out by the end of March this year, and it is planned that by the end of the year, all the legal commercial ivory traders shall be completely shut down. 
 
It is agreeable that trade in ivory has for long resulted in the waning populations of elephants in many African countries, as the gentle giants have often been poached for their highly priced tusks that feed ivory markets beyond the African continent, especially those in Asia. 
 
Along with the many Nations and organizations involved in tourism, including Uganda’s Tourism fraternity, we theAssociation of Uganda tour Operators hail this as a complete game changer for tourism and towards the conservation, and an assured positive future for the world’s largest land mammal, the African Elephant. 
 
The Ministry of Tourism in Uganda declared 2017 as“A Year of Tourism” and with the recovering population of elephants, this news gives us a great start to the New Year.
 
 
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