Hong Kong - In a significant boost for Africa's elephants, leaders of Hong Kong's largest political party have announced plans to push for a commercial ivory ban in China.
On Monday, five lawmakers from the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB) announced at the party's annual Chinese New Year press conference that they would submit a recommendation to ban the domestic sale and transportation of elephant ivory in China for discussion in Beijing next month, when officials convene for annual plenary sessions of the National People's Congress and the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.
Hong Kong lawmaker Elizabeth Quat, a leading proponent of the ban, has been actively lobbying Hong Kong delegates to end the ivory trade in China. "A ban is an important message that shows the Chinese government is very keen on protecting animals and the Sino-African relationship," Quat said earlier this month.
Led by DAB chairman Tam Yiu-chung, the group of lawmakers recommended that China also increase public awareness and support for efforts to persuade the public not to buy or sell ivory. The DAB forms the backbone of the 36-strong bloc of delegates from Hong Kong, a historical hub for the illicit global ivory trade.