On Saturday 13th September we welcomed Hong Kong Legislative Councillor, Dr. Elizabeth Quat to the Nairobi Nursery, where she was introduced to the orphans, including those elephants that have lost their mothers to poaching.
Dr. Quat is a member of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB), the island’s largest and most powerful political party, and holds the DAB’s environmental portfolio. Ivory stocks are still sold legally in Hong Kong, however the government has taken steps to combat the illegal trade, pledging to destroy its 29.6 tonnes of confiscated illegal ivory by the middle of next year.
Dr. Quat wants her government to do more, and is urging Hong Kong to ban the sale of all ivory and join the African-led Elephant Protection Initiative (EPI), which aims to shut down the world’s remaining ivory markets, enact a 10+ year moratorium on the international ivory trade, and implement more education and awareness raising initiatives.
“Hong Kong has both a historic opportunity and a moral obligation to be the first consumer state to join the EPI and ban the ivory trade,” explains Dr. Quat.
In the words of our Founder, Dr Dame Daphne Sheldrick, “Elephants are emotionally human with the same sense of family and the same sense of death. Emotionally, financially and environmentally they offer so much more to the world alive, but demand for ivory is tearing their families apart; mothers slain for their tusks, milk dependent babies left behind to die. Citizens of Hong Kong can play a key role in ending this murderous trade by recognizing this suffering and demanding their lawmakers impose a ban on all ivory sales. Time is running out and we hope that Dr. Quat’s resolve to change attitudes in Hong Kong, having witnessed the impact and devastation as a result of the ivory trade first hand, will help empower the people of Hong Kong to act for the future of the world’s greatest land mammal, the elephant.” Dr. Quat hopes her trip to Kenya will raise awareness and help build momentum for further action in Hong Kong. “Hong Kong could shut down its ivory market tomorrow, the government just lacks the political will to do so,” explained Dr. Quat. “Coming to Africa and witnessing the realities of elephant poaching first-hand has helped me understand the true implications of buying ivory. I hope I can share this awareness with the people of Hong Kong and help end the killing.”
-------- Dr. Elizabeth Quat is working to build bridges between China and Africa as part of her campaign to stop the buying of ivory and end the killing of elephants. Her trip to Kenya has been organized in partnership with WildAid, Save the Elephants, the African Wildlife Foundation, the Northern Rangelands Trust and Stop Ivory. We all have a role to play in protecting elephants and you can get further involved and take action for their future by visiting our iworry campaign website at http://www.iworry.org