Dutch scanners to scour for Ivory
African harbors will receive Dutch container scanners in a bid to fight the illegal trade of ivory. The first scanner will go to the Kenyan harbor city Mombasa, which where a large quantity of ivory is being exported from. The scanners can reveal the secrets of a container in just few seconds. State secretary for Economic Affairs, Sharon Dijksma, is going to confirm this with representatives from Kenya, Botswana and Rwanda on Thursday. Dijksma will be at the international conference in london, which is being held on initiative of British princes Charles and William, both great advocates for the stemming of illegal ivory trade. 50 countries and 10 UN organizations have been invited to the conference, which is focusing on 'wildlife crime', and is the largest illegal trade conference to date.
Representatives will be informed of the realities of poaching, and that 500,000 elephants are killed each year for their tusks. In 2013, at least 45 tons of ivory were seized, according to the Independent, which is believed to be the biggest number in a quarter of a century.
The Netherlands is pulling out 1 million euros, part of which will go some way to help fight poaching. The money is there to provide rangers with modern technology such as satellite telephones, night vision binoculars and GPS as well as fast vehicles to have a better chance to catch gangs who use modern technology. According to the WWF, 22,000 elephants have been murdered in 2012 to satiate the global greed for precious ivory. Elephants in Africa could become extinct in five years' time if the rate of slaughter goes on the way it is now, the Independent reports today.
The Dutch Forensic Institute (NFI) will supply knowledge to shed light on the trade, from poacher to trader and exporter. Stricter measures will be introduced at the harbors, but scanners are also being introduced at African airports, and staff will be taught how to work with sniffer dogs. Dijksma is very committed to the fate of what she calls "iconic animals" like elephants and rhino. "It is terrible to see how these beautiful animals are being hunted. There needs to be an end to this. It is deeply seated in society and also in Dutch politics."