WCC 2016 Res 011 - Progress Report

General information
IUCN Constituencies implementing this Resolution
IUCN Members: 
Wildlife Conservation Society ( WCS ) / United States of America
IUCN Commissions: 
IUCN Species Survival Commission 2017-2020 (SSC)
IUCN Secretariat: 
Other non-IUCN related organisations: 
TRAFFIC International (IUCN partner organisation)
Indicate which actions have been carried out to implement this Resolution : 
Policy influencing/advocacy
Scientific/technical activities
Describe the results/achievements of the actions taken: 
IUCN submitted Information Document Inf. 61 to the 17th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP17) to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). At the meeting, a resolution on trade in elephant specimens was amended to recommend that Parties and non-Parties in whose jurisdiction there is a legal domestic market for ivory that is contributing to poaching or illegal trade, take all necessary legislative, regulatory and enforcement measures to close their domestic markets for commercial trade in raw and worked ivory as a matter of urgency. Since the 2016 World Conservation Congress a number of countries have taken steps towards greater legislative and regulatory efforts to close domestic ivory markets: China closed its domestic ivory market in December 2017; the government of Hong Kong SAR announced plans to phase outs its ivory markets by 2021; the EU banned raw ivory exports on July 1, 2017 and is currently considering whether or not it should take further action to close its domestic ivory markets; the United Kingdom launched a public consultation on the closure of its domestic ivory market.

TRAFFIC International provided published recommendations to the governments of China, Hong Kong SAR and Japan on closure of their domestic ivory markets. TRAFFIC also provided technical support to the European Commission in preparing for a consultation process to obtain the views of all stakeholders and the public on the need for further restrictions on ivory trade in the EU.
What challenges/obstacles have been encountered in the implementation of this Resolution and how were they overcome : 
This Resolution faces a number of challenges, the largest being that administrative closure of domestic ivory markets will not have the desired impact on wild elephants unless implementation and enforcement actions (plus other conservation interventions) are rigorously and effectively implemented.


Countries that have closed domestic ivory markets need to ensure that the inevitable ivory stockpiles are inventoried and properly managed such that they do not supply the illegal ivory market. This is particularly relevant for China given the size of its recently closed domestic ivory market

Countries that have existing, or new, domestic ivory market bans need to enforce legislation and close any loop-holes that allow continued sale of ivory or illegal trade through any number of different channels. For example, a shift of ivory commerce from physical sales to on-line in response to improved enforcement of new legislation is a serious threat.

Trans-boundary cooperation will be needed to support the full enforcement of domestic ivory bans to prevent the illegal markets, or processing operations, moving between countries.

Sustained and effective monitoring and mapping of (i) emerging ivory markets and new trade hubs, (ii) novel ways of selling ivory, and (iii) trends in ivory prices.

This Resolution was controversial because the Motion 007 was adopted at WCC by a large majority, but with strong opposition from some Members
that had a large stake in its potential impact (Stuart et al. 2017).
Briefly describe what future actions are needed for the implementation of this Resolution: 
To implement this Resolution, countries need to close existing their domestic ivory markets. However, for the Resolution to have the desired imapct on wild elephant populations, effective enforcement of any new (or existing) legislation banning the legal trade is needed.

Future actions needs to support this include:
1. Implementation of CITES to include adequate ivory stockpile inventories, management and reporting, and ensuring that national legislation is aligned to CITES Res. Conf. 10.10 (Rev.)
2. Control the unintended consequences of domestic ivory bans by preventing any surge in ivory sales either in other countries, or from on-line outlets and shifting centres of illegal trade
3. Transboundary co-operation is needed, especially between neighbouring countries, to manage for any shifts in processing or procurement caused by new legislation, or enhanced enforcement in some countries
Status of implementation
Status of implementation for this Resolution: 
Underway: implementation well-advanced
Additional information
Are these actions planned for yet: