National Geographic
Menu

In Hong Kong, Kids Take Action to Stop the Illegal Ivory Trade

Children and adults protest the illegal ivory trade at the International March for Elephants in Hong Kong on October 4, 2013. (Photograph by Alex Hofford)
Children and adults protest the illegal ivory trade at the International March for Elephants in Hong Kong on October 4, 2013. (Photograph by Alex Hofford)

Hong Kong schoolchildren are transforming attitudes about elephant ivory through small actions that are having a big impact.

Hong Kong is at the heart of the ivory black market. Its bustling ports are a major entry point for smuggled ivory shipped from Africa to Asia. In recent years officials have seized huge amounts of ivory: 3.4 tons in 2011, 5.6 tons in 2012, and about 7 tons in the first ten months of 2013.

Now, kids in Hong Kong are using school projects, letter-writing campaigns, petitions, and protests to educate their peers and parents about the true origins of decorative ivory. As a result, they’re helping change habits and policies.

Read the full story on our daily news page.