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Case Three: Ivory Trade

  • Isao Miyaoka
Chapter
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Part of the St Antony’s Series book series

Abstract

International trade in African elephant ivory has been subject to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) since 1978. In that year, the African elephant was listed in the CITES Appendix II, which regulates trade in the items that are deemed to be at the risk of becoming endangered. The worldwide trade ban on African elephant ivory dates back to the seventh CITES conference in October 1989 when the African elephant was listed in the CITES Appendix I, which bans the commercial trade in endangered species and their products. During the process leading up to the conference, an ivory trade ban became the most politically important issue. Japan, the biggest importer of ivory, became a target of criticism by environmental NGOs, the mass media, and the public in North America and Western Europe. Eventually, in 1989, Japan agreed to list the African elephant in the CITES Appendix I.

Keywords

Japanese Government African Elephant Elephant Population Cites Secretariat Cites Regime 
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Notes

  1. 1.
    Thomas Princen, “The Ivory Trade Ban: NGOs and International Conservation,” p. 125, in Thomas Princen and Matthias Finger, Environmental NGOs in World Politics (London: Routledge, 1994), pp. 121–59. The Indian elephant had already been listed in Appendix I. Asahi shinbun (May 13, 1989, evening edition), p. 18.Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    Tom Milliken, “Afurikazo no gensho to zoge no kokusai torihiki: Washinton joyaku ni motozuku ketsudan no told” [Decrease in African Elephant Populations and the International Ivory Trade: Time to Decide in Accordance with the Washington Convention], p. 7, TRAFFIC Japan Newsletter, vol. 5, nos. 3–4 (November 30, 1989), pp. 2–24.Google Scholar
  3. 5.
    Ivory Trade Review Group, The Ivory Trade and the Future of the African Elephant: Volume 1 Summary and Conclusions (October 1989), p. 17. In 1989, the market was estimated to be worth 50 to 60 million dollars. Gareth Porter and Janet Welsh Brown, Global Environmental Politics: Dilemmas in World Politics, 2nd edn (Oxford: Westview Press, 1996), p. 81.Google Scholar
  4. 13.
    For further details on this organization, see Tokunaga Hideomi, “Torafikku nettowaaku: Sono soshiki to katsudo” [TRAFFIC Network: Its Organization and Activities], Kankyo (January 1988), pp. 28–30.Google Scholar
  5. 14.
    Nishimiya Hiroshi, “Washinton joyaku niokeru yasei doshokubutsu no hogo” [Protection of Wild Fauna and Flora in the Washington Convention], p. 7, Kankyo (January 1988), pp. 6–9; Simon Lyster, International Wildlife Law (Cambridge: Grotius, 1985), p. 239.Google Scholar
  6. 20.
    WWF, “WWF Policy Statement on African Elephants and the Ivory Trade” (agreed at the Directors’ Meeting in Hong Kong on December 2, 1988); Princen, “The Ivory Trade Ban,” p. 149.Google Scholar
  7. 21.
    A TRAFFIC Japan official, interview by author (Tokyo, March 28, 1997); a then-CITES Secretariat official, interview by author (Tokyo, March 30, 1997).Google Scholar
  8. 22.
    Allan Thornton and Dave Curly, Afurikazo wo sukue [Save the African Elephant], trans. Nakano Haruko (Tokyo: Soshisha, 1993), pp. 106–18.Google Scholar
  9. 23.
    Princen, “The Ivory Trade Ban,” p. 144. For two kinds of environmental transnational coalitions, see Thomas Princen, “Ivory, Conservation, and Environmental Transnational Coalitions,” pp. 230–1, in Thomas Risse-Kappen, ed., Bringing Transnational Relations Back In: Non-State Actors, Domestic Structures and International Institutions (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995), pp. 227–53.Google Scholar
  10. 28.
    Sakaguchi Isao, “Yasei seibutsu torihiki kanri regiimu” [The Wildlife Trade Management Regime] (MA thesis, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Tokyo, 1995), p. 144; Asahi shinbun (May 13, 1989, evening edition), p. 18.Google Scholar
  11. 29.
    A then-CITES Secretariat official, interview by author (Tokyo, July 30, 1997); WWF, “News Release: WWF Petition Spurs the United States to Halt Ivory Trade from Somalia” (Washington, DC, February 21, 1989).Google Scholar
  12. 33.
    WWF and WCI, “News Release: WWF and WCI Call for Worldwide Ban on Ivory Trade, Findings in New Scientific Study Show Elephant Holocaust is Likely Unless Action is Taken” (Washington, DC, June 1, 1989). Milliken, “Afurikazo no gensho to zoge no kokusai torihiki,” p. 10; Nihon keizai shinbun (June 2, 1989), p. 34; Mainichi shinbun (June 2, 1989), p. 26; Yomiuri shinbun (June 2, 1989), p. 30; Asahi shinbun (June 2, 1989), p. 30.Google Scholar
  13. 36.
    J. R. Caldwell, and R. A. Luxmoore in collaboration with the TRAFFIC Network, Recent Changes in World Ivory Trade (Cambridge: World Conservation Monitoring Centre, February 1990), pp. 2–3; Milliken, “Afurikazo no gensho to zoge no kokusai torihiki,” pp. 10–11; Asahi shinbun (June 6, 1989), p. 30; Asahi shinbun (June 10, 1989), p. 30.Google Scholar
  14. 58.
    Tom Milliken, “The Japanese Ivory Trade: Tradition, Cites and the Elusive Search for Sustainable Utilisation,” 3.8.7, in ivory Trade Review Group, The Ivory Trade and the Future of the African Elephant: Volume 2 Technical Reports (October 1989). For more details on the rules governing international trade in specimens of species listed in the Appendices, see Lyster, International Wildlife Law, pp. 247–56.Google Scholar
  15. 68.
    Abram Chayes and Antonia H. Chayes, The New Sovereignty: Compliance with International Regulatory Agreements (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1995), p. 21.Google Scholar
  16. 73.
    Milliken, “The Japanese Ivory Trade,” 3.8.3.8 and 3.8.4; Tokyo Ivory Art and Craft Co-operative Association and Osaka Ivory Art and Craft Co-operative Association, “A Proposal for Reconciling the Japanese Need for Ivory with the Conservation of the African Elephant” (Tokyo, 1989); a then-MITI official, interview by author (Tokyo, June 16, 1999). For more information on the industry, see also Esmond B. Martin, The Japanese Ivory Industry (Tokyo: WWF Japan, 1981).Google Scholar
  17. 74.
    Milliken, “The Japanese Ivory Trade,” 3.8.5.1; Asahi shinbun (June 21, 1989), p. 6; Asahi shinbun (July 12, 1989), p. 1. In January 2001, MITI was reorganized into the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI).Google Scholar
  18. 76.
    Kaneko Yoshio, “Zoge torihiki zenmen kinshi niwa mondaiten” [Problems with a Total Trade Ban on ivory], Asahi shinbun (July 25, 1989), p. 5. Kaneko Yoshio was Head of Special Project Unit of the CITES Secretariat.Google Scholar
  19. 88.
    Environment Agency, Nature Conservation Bureau, Wildlife Protection Division, Wildlife Conservation in Japan (Tokyo, 1997), pp. 5–6.Google Scholar
  20. 179.
    Kaneko, “Zoge torihiki zenmen kinshi niwa mondaiten”; Princen, “The Ivory Trade Ban,” p. 128; Thornton and Curry, Afurikazo wo sukue, pp. 186–209; Douglas-Hamilton, Zo notameno tatakai, pp. 440–2; Asahi shinbun (October 8, 1989), p. 3; The Financial Times (October 9, 1989); The Times (October 12, 1989). At the 1989 CITES meeting, environmentalists pressured Secretary-General Lapointe to resign.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Isao Miyaoka 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Isao Miyaoka
    • 1
  1. 1.Osaka University of Foreign StudiesJapan

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