Elephants and Ivories

En 1986, Robin des Bois publie « Eléphants et ivoire végétal ». Un an plus tard, une élégante bande d’éléphants masqués tout droit sortis d’Art Déco et de Sherwood envahit les trafiquants d’ivoire à Paris. En 1988 les éléphants masqués saluent à Lausanne la décision d’interdire le commerce international de l’ivoire. Une victoire colossale. En 1997, le cartel de l’ivoire réussit à rouvrir les vannes du commerce international. Une défaite abyssale. C’était à Harare capitale du Zimbabwe. Le journal gouvernemental titre « L’Afrique australe gagne la guerre de l’ivoire ». Robin des Bois répond par « Harare humanum est ». De cette erreur, les éléphants ne se remettent pas.

Hong Kong and elephants

14 Apr 2015

HONG KONG and PARIS (14 April 2015) — Today, a coalition of 51 NGOs coordinated by Robin des Bois and WildAid Hong Kong co-signed and sent a letter to Wong Kam-sing, Hong Kong’s Secretary for the Environment, demanding that the Hong Kong Government stop issuing any new import licenses and re-export licenses for pre-Convention elephant ivory (the letter pdf).

What does this mean, and how might this action help save Africa’s elephants?

The European Union is the primary exporter of alleged pre-Convention ivory, much of it imported by Hong Kong with the ultimate destination being mainland China ivory carving factories. This is facilitating an illegal ivory trade that’s fueling an elephant poaching epidemic in Africa.

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Rhino traffic transits through Cherbourg

13 Apr 2015

John Slattery, a member of Rathkeale Rovers (Rathkeale vagrants), was arrested on 6 April 2015 in the port of Cherbourg by the border police. He was landing from a car ferry arriving from Ireland. He was subject of an international arrest warrant. He is in custody for a period of 60 days, the time for justice of the United States to transmit its request for extradition.

The Rathkeale Rovers come from a community of people originating from Rathkeale in Limerick County in Ireland. They are sought by Europol and police worldwide. They specialize in theft, receiving stolen goods and illegal sale of antiquities. They are suspected of having participated in several rhino horn thefts from European museums. A horn of 8 kg was stolen from the Museum of Natural History of Rouen (Normandy) in March 2011. The neighboring Museum of Le Havre was also robbed but the stolen horn was in resin, as museum curators had, as a precaution, removed the authentic horn from the exposed trophy.

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Elephants: advances in Brittany and Europe

27 Mar 2015

In the interest of bringing about reconciliation, the Dupont house is taking off the market items 109, 110 and 111, which consist of five elephant tusks of which three are from the last elephants of Niokolo-Koba National Park in Senegal. They were to be sold on Monday, March 30.

The ban on the exportation of elephant tusks from the European Union is well on its way. Forty-one national and international non-governmental organizations have written thereupon to the European ministers charged with the fight against the trafficking of threatened species. The French, English, German, Swedish, Austrian and Dutch ministers who already abide by this measure just wrote to their counterparts to encourage them to follow their lead.

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Brittany: the land of asylum for poached ivory

26 Mar 2015

Sulfurous auctioning in Morlaix, Finistère, Monday, March 30, 2015 at 2:30 p.m., 37 rue de Paris. Wildlife pollution is going to descend over the city at the beginning of the week. The Dupont house and its associates are organizing a garage sale of old taxidermies. All of the pillaged African wildlife will be brought together. The noticeable presence of a pretty monkey’s head with its mouth open – complete with original teeth – and a lion cub measuring 28 centimeters long.

But the center pieces are coming from the Niokolo-Koba National Park in Senegal. The personal collection of André-Roger Dupuy, the correspondent of the Museum of Natural History in Paris, head curator of the park from 1967 to 1974 and director of Senegal’s national parks between 1973 and 1987 – 20 years of a safari the hunting version rather than a photographic one – will finish by being dispersed.

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41 spokespeople of the elephants of Africa and Asia

23 Mar 2015

Today, on behalf of 41 international and European Non-Governmental Organizations, Robin des Bois is sending the attached letter to the European commissioner in charge of the environment and to all the UE ministers in charge of the trafficking of species threatened by extinction.

This letter asks the European Union and all the member states to suspend all exportation of raw ivory. It turns out that the unilateral decisions taken by the United Kingdom, Germany, Sweden and France are in fact ineffective insofar as elephants tusks sold at auctions can eventually leave the European Union from a country that has not made an analogous decision. The example of Cannes Enchères in France (see the press release “Ivory to China: the Belgian Network” that was published on March 4, 2015) is the sad proof of this.

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Panic at Cannes Enchères

7 Mar 2015

Last Friday, custom services visited the Cannes Enchères auction room and found several irregularities with regards to CITES regulations on trade in endangered species of wildlife. We’re far from the image of an establishment beyond reproach supposedly cited as an example by state services. Robin des Bois requests that the Ministry of Ecology and customs make public the exact result of this animal inspection that lasted over 6 hours.

500 kg of ivory stamped as legal will be sold on Saturday afternoon by Cannes Enchères. A colonial heritage with the aura of legality granted to ancient ivory, these tusks taken from homes, attics and garages thanks to the active prospection carried out by Cannes Enchères will, if the buyers succeed in getting them out of France and the European Union, feed the workshops and supermarkets of those who make profit out of the elephants’ extinction.

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Cannes: the sale of ivory under police protection

6 Mar 2015

Following the lead of the United States, Sweden, the United Kingdom and Germany, France decided to ban from its soil the exportation of raw and cut ivory.

Cannes Enchères (Cannes Auctions) took the responsibility to circumvent this decision by proposing to future Asian buyers the sale of these tusks on Saturday, March 7. They will do this by shipping the tusks through Belgium and by benefiting from re-exportation certificates delivered by Belgian authorities. Belgium has not yet followed the lead of the four other European countries. Alerted to this prospect, the Belgian Minister of Energy, of the Environment and of Sustainable Development just declared that if this ivory arrives in Belgium for purposes of exportation outside of the European Union, she will halt it for investigation. Ms. Marghem, the minister, is also calling for a global European accord on the ban of the re-exportation of ivory tusks from the European Union.

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Ivory to China: the Belgian network

4 Mar 2015

Marie-Christine Marghem, the Belgian Minister for Energy, Environment and Sustainable Development, declared yesterday that she was quite pleased with the action of her department in the struggle against the traffic of endangered species and ensured that her country gave a special attention to the protection of elephants. At the same time, Belgium is preparing to clear on the international market raw ivory tusks imported from France, despite an export ban taken in January by the French Ministry of Ecology and immediately practicable.

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Ivory: the Cannes scandal

23 Feb 2015

On 27 January 2015 the French Minister of Ecology gave instructions to services to not further deliver CITES certificates (1) for re-export of raw tusks or ivory tusk sections. She also called upon the European Commission so as for “Member States to no longer encourage demand by exporting legal ivory, being proven that it plays an important role in development of illegal slaughter of elephants.” This decision was applauded by 39 Non-Governmental Organizations around the world who had asked Madam Royal to take such action. (2)

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“On the Trail” n°7

12 Feb 2015

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