Save the elephants, and other species, too
by "Logic Al"
The decades old policy of destroying ivory keeps the price of ivory so high that the incentive to kill elephants overwhelms underfunded efforts to protect them.
Had the thousands of tons of destroyed ivory been used to raise funds for protecting elephants, high tech equipment, like drones, could have saved countless thousands of elephants from the brutal murderers who kill for money. Plus, the price poachers could get for the ivory would have been less, due to greater supply, and the risk/reward ratio would mean less incentive to poach.
Currently, the main economic interest in ivory rests with black marketeers, whose inventory value would skyrocket with the extinction of elephants; they have no reason to care. A legal market will need to be sustainable, meaning that those with an economic interest will work for the survival of healthy elephants, capable of producing the ivory.
Going forward, we can save the elephant by setting up a legal ivory market that would 1) reward those who recover ivory from the poachers; and 2) help people to see ivory as a sustainable crop that should only be harvested when the ivory stops growing (yielding much larger tusks than the tiny ones poachers take) - after the natural death of an elephant; and 3) establish a visible boycott of large ivory items by selling small bits of ivory of one gram or less, incorporated into jewelry that is designed to signify that the wearer will buy no more ivory than the one piece that promotes awareness and funds protection. Thus, the profit motivation will be working to preserve - rather than wipe out - the elephant. "Small ivory saves elephants!" could be the slogan for a legal market in ivory for the purpose of funding protections for elephants.
Funds can be used to build and staff "Prisons for Poachers" and hi-tech items like drones, which will be useful in protecting other species, as well.
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