Haribon recently witnessed the physical destruction of ivories as it joined the global efforts to stamp out illegal wildlife trade initiated
by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
The DENR recently destroyed at least five tons of smuggled elephant tasks using road roller, making the Philippines the first country in Asia to conduct such a strong statement against illegal wildlife trade.
Addressing a crowd of over 200 people that include foreign dignitaries and anti-ivory trade advocates, Environment Secretary Ramon Paje said the government’s decision to crush the ivory tusks was a reaffirmation of the country’s commitment to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna.
“The Philippines will not be a party to the massacre and we refuse to be a conduit to this
cycle of killing,” Paje said.
Since 1996, more than 12 tons of illegally—traded ivory had been confiscated in separate occasions by various law enforcement agencies like the Bureau of Customs, National Bureau of Investigation and the DENR-National Capital Region.
Paje assured the international community that the country’s fight against illegal ivory trade would not stop with the destruction of its illegal ivory stock, saying it was only the beginning of an intensified effort to curb wildlife poaching.
“The Department has organized the Philippine Operations Group on Ivory to ensure that ivory smuggling into the country is properly investigated. We will pursue the prosecution of law violators in order to break the illegal ivory trade chain,” Paje added.