Oliver Milman and Julia Carrie Wong “Yahoo Japan sold 12 tons of elephant ivory in two years, activists claim” http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/jan/26/yahoo-japan-sold-12-tons-elephant-ivory-activists-claim
Activist network Avaaz*1 has launched a petition calling for an end to Yahoo’s “bloody secret” of permitting sales of ivory. The petition, which has more than 1m signatures, urges Yahoo chief executive Marissa Mayer and Yahoo Japan head Manabu Miyasaka to “urgently stop all ivory sales from sites/platforms in Japan and all other markets”.
It’s estimated that more than 12 tonnes of elephant tusks and fashioned pieces of ivory were sold on the Yahoo Japan auctions site between 2012 and 2014.
Yahoo Japan is a joint venture between Yahoo and SoftBank, a Japanese telecommunications company.
There are several thousand pieces of ivory for sale on the auction site at any one time. On Tuesday, prices ranged from $20 for a trinket to $60,000 for a five-tiered pagoda carved in ivory. Traffic, an anti-wildlife trafficking group, said in a report last year that most ivory products in Japan are sold as hanko – personal seals that are signifiers of status in the country.
“It’s truly unfortunate and there are indications this trade is fueling poaching of elephants and the illegal trade of ivory into Japan and on to places such as China, aided by corruption in the registration system,” said Adam Peyman, wildlife program manger at Humane Society International*2.
“Yahoo needs to put more pressure on Yahoo Japan but we don’t have high hopes. With other countries putting more regulations on to ivory, they will probably do even better than before because of the increased business opportunity.”
A Yahoo spokeswoman said: “At Yahoo, we understand the concerns raised by this campaign and we in no way condone the sale of products made with ivory obtained from any animal at risk of extinction.
“Yahoo does not accept ads for ivory under our existing policies. Yahoo is an investor in Yahoo Japan and does not have controlling ownership.”
The international trade of elephant ivory has been banned since 1989 under the United Nation’s CITES treaty. However, Japan and China were allowed to legally import 102 tonnes of ivory from African nations in 2007. A report last year by the Environmental Investigations Agency found that a large majority of Japanese ivory traders were involved in illegal tusk registration activity*3.
The ivory trade has been blamed for stoking an ongoing poaching crisis in Africa. Data released in June showed an alarming 60% drop in elephant numbers in Tanzania between 2009 and 2014*4. Across Africa, an estimated 35,000 elephants are being slaughtered every year for ivory, amid concerns a fifth of all African elephants will be lost over the coming decade*5 .
象牙取引問題には、http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20130606/1370532104 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20140618/1403103844 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20150227/1425060549 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20150529/1432921161 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20150610/1433907927 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20150731/1438309028で言及している。
*3:EIA Japan’s Illegal Ivory Trade and Fraudulent Registration of Ivory Tusks http://eia-global.org/images/uploads/EIA_Japans_Illegal_Ivory_Trade_12102015.pdf
*4:See Karl Mathiesen “Tanzania elephant population declined by 60% in five years, census reveals” http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jun/02/tanzania-epicentre-of-elephant-poaching-census-reveals
*5:See “New figures reveal poaching for the illegal ivory trade could wipe out a fifth of Africa’s Elephants over next decade” https://www.cites.org/eng/news/pr/2013/20131202_elephant-figures.php