The Republic of Congo Just Burned 4.7 Metric Tons of Ivory

Emma Stokes/WCS
Emma Stokes/WCS / Emma Stokes/WCS

On Wednesday, as part of a four-day, Africa-wide conference to discuss a strategy to put an end to wildlife trafficking in fauna and flora on the continent, the government of the Republic of Congo burned the country’s entire stockpile of illegal ivory.

"The Republic of Congo joins a growing list of countries opting to burn or crush ivory stockpiles as a means of sending a global message on the plight of elephants and a warning to would-be traffickers,” Dr. John Robinson, WCS Executive Vice President for Conservation and Science, said in a statement yesterday. The burning also marked the launch of a new technological system for recording and managing illegal ivory with advanced inventory tracking.

The Republic of Congo isn't the first country to turn to drastic measures in an effort to make a worldwide statement about illegal ivory trading. Since 1989, 13 different countries have crushed or burned a total of 126.6 metric tons of confiscated ivory. Check out all the countries who have participated below:

Wildlife Conservation Society