China Announces Ban on Ivory Trade

China has announced that it would forbid the trade of ivory by the end of 2017. About 70% of the world’s ivory is sold in China, making it the largest ivory market  in the world. The valuable commodity reaches a price of up to a thousand dollars on Chinese markets, most of which will be closed down in the next three months.

Environmental groups, like the World Wildlife Fund, have welcomed China’s historic decision and said that it would help preserve endangered elephants around the globe. According  to recent reports, the elephant population in Africa has gone down by a third in the past decade. Last year alone over 20 000 elephants were killed. The WWF estimates that about half a million elephants still roam Asia and Africa.

The international ivory trade has been forbidden since the end of the 1980s, but some countries, including China, have continued to allow selling and trading ivory. In some Asian countries ivory has a special social status and is often thought to be a symbol of wealth. It is often bought as an investment, instead of gold and other valuable products.


The Chinese ban will make it harder for elephant poachers and illegal traders to sell ivory. Conservationists, however, fear that when it takes effect traders will move to Hong Kong, which has a special economic status inside China. Legal ivory trading is still allowed in the former British colony.



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  • according to = as said by …
  • announce = to say officially
  • commodity = a product that is bought and sold
  • conservationist = person who wants to save animals, plants and other things in nature
  • decade = ten years
  • endangered = in danger of dying out
  • environment = nature and  world around us
  • estimate = to guess how big something might be, based on the information that you have
  • fear = to be afraid
  • forbid = ban, not allow
  • former = once, some time ago
  • globe = world
  • illegal = against the law
  • including = also
  • investment = something  that you buy, so that you may use it in the future
  • ivory = hard, smooth yellowish-white material from the teeth of elephants
  • poacher = person who illegally catches animals and sells their skin or other parts of their bodies
  • preserve = save
  • roam = wander around freely
  • social status = the position you have in society
  • valuable = very important and worth a lot of money
  • wealth = being rich
  • welcome = to be happy about something