April 8, 2015: The UAE Ministry of Environment and Water, in collaboration with the Dubai Municipality, are set to destroy more than 10 tonnes of illegal ivory. The ivory was seized, over the years, from smugglers of illegal shipments from the UAE borders, due to its geographical location and strategic air and sea traffic movements through its territory. The ivory crush will be the first in the GCC and Middle East aimed at combating illegal trade of wildlife products and addressing the challenges that threaten the survival of the elephants and prevent its extinction, which would lead to ecological and wildlife imbalance.
The ivory seized and confiscated in collaboration with the different customs points in the country and the Ministry of Interiors, reflects the UAE’s extensive efforts in fighting the illicit trafficking in ivory and wildlife. The move demonstrates zero tolerance for any form of such illegal shipments across the UAE border and is in line with the country’s commitment to the international recommendations and decisions issued by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), which the UAE joined in 1990.
This historic event exhibits the UAE Ministry of Environment and Water’s keenness along with all the partners in the country to address this environmental hazard and deliver a clear message to the international community about the seriousness of the situation. There is the need to unite to support the efforts to limit the spread of this trade that will lead to the extinction of the elephant species from the world and directly affect its biodiversity. The ivory crushing will send a strong message to the international community that the UAE is very strict with regard to illegal trade in ivory and elephant products and will continue its pursuit to preserve the most threatened and endangered species and promote environmental sustainability.