China’s New Year’s resolution? Shut down its ivory trade. In an announcement last week, the Chinese government pledged to close down its domestic ivory market for good by the end of 2017. Global ivory trade has been banned by international regulators since 1989, but in the meantime China has been a nexus of both legal—and illegal—ivory trading, National Geographic reports. Demand has been met largely by the large-scale poaching of African elephants, which many say has significantly contributed to the animals’ population decline.
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