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Laurel Neme

Wildlife Trade

National Geographic: Petition Seeks Ban on Trade in Fake Rhino Horn

Exclusive: NGOs express concerns that cultured rhino horn undercuts existing law and imperils wild rhinos. By Laurel Neme PUBLISHED Wed Feb 10, 2016 Trade in bioengineered rhino horn shouldn’t be allowed. That’s the contention behind a petition filed today with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service by the Center for Biological Diversity, a U.S.-based group that uses science and…

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National Geographic: One Country Will Destroy Its Ivory—and Pray for Elephants

    Sri Lanka also becomes the world’s first country to apologize that elephants are being killed for their ivory. By Laurel Neme PUBLISHED Mon Jan 25 12:04:00 EST 2016 During the past several years, I’ve watched country after country destroy their stockpiles of confiscated elephant ivory, preventing that ivory from somehow slipping back into the black market and…

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National Geographic: Myanmar Feeds China’s Pangolin Appetite

    New study shows open availability of world’s most trafficked mammal in town bordering China. By Laurel Neme PUBLISHED January 19, 2016 Myanmar and pangolins. Not words I normally think of together. That’s why the recent report by TRAFFIC, a wildlife trade monitoring NGO, on pangolin trafficking in Myanmar took me by surprise. While I’ve followed…

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National Geographic: Elephants Win as Hong Kong’s Leader Says It Will Ban Ivory Trade

Shutting down the world’s largest legal ivory market would be a conservation milestone. By Laurel Neme PUBLISHED January 14, 2016 Hong Kong’s Chief Executive, Leung Chun-ying, announced plans to ban the domestic ivory trade during his 2016 Policy Address. The annual speech lays out the year’s policy agenda. In the middle of the two-hour monologue, between statements on…

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National Geographic: Why Shutting Down China’s Ivory Trade Won’t Be Easy

 An undercover investigation shows how Chinese businesses launder illegal ivory into the legal market and also trade in illegal rhino horn.   By Laurel Neme PUBLISHED Fri Jan 08, 2016     China is the world’s largest ivory consumer, with its legal market often providing cover for illegal ivory. The intertwining of these two markets—legal and illegal—is…

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National Geographic: How the International Trade in Geckos Is a Scam

The coauthor of a new report says low-profile species are often hit hardest by illegal and unsustainable trade. By Laurel Neme PUBLISHED Wed Jan 06, 2016 For many species threatened by the illegal wildlife trafficking, such as rhinos, elephants, tigers, and bears, debates persist as to whether a legal trade in their parts and products can reduce…

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Huffington Post: Chinese Researchers Explore Options for Ivory Ban

    Posted: 12/16/2015    When Chinese President Xi Jinping announced in September 2015 that China would, together with the United States, work toward a complete domestic ban on ivory, it was a welcome step in the fight against elephant poaching. Yet it was also only the first step in a long road. Now comes the…

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National Geographic: Chinese Researchers Explore How to Implement Ivory Ban

China has a 3,000-year tradition of carving ivory. Shutting down its thriving ivory market won’t be easy. By Laurel Neme, National Geographic PUBLISHED Tue Dec 15, 2015   When Chinese President Xi Jinping announced in September 2015 that China would, together with the United States, work toward a complete domestic ban on ivory, it was a welcome…

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Huffington Post: In Latin America, Illegal Wildlife Trade Explodes

                             Posted: 11/09/2015    With its spectacularly diverse ecosystems, rare and endemic species, remote terrain, often loophole-riddled laws and sketchy enforcement, Latin America is a haven for a booming illegal wildlife trade. South and Central America’s diversity is a magnet for wildlife traffickers…

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Huffington Post: Hong Kong Open to Closing Ivory Trade Markets (3)

By Laurel Neme Posted: 11/06/2015    In a major policy shift, Hong Kong–the world’s largest retail market for elephant ivory–says it may now consider banning its ivory trade. “The Government is open-minded on the ban on domestic trade” was how a spokesperson for Hong Kong’s Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) put it in an email…

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