THE Born Free Foundation has welcomed Malawi’s decision to destroy its ivory stockpiles.
The country’s president, Arthur Peter Mutharika, will set light to four tonnes of ivory on Thursday.
The event is said to be a demonstration of Malawi’s commitment to combat illegal wildlife trade.
Just before the torching, the President will accept signatures from over 7000 people who recently joined the campaign to ‘Stop Wildlife Crime.
Wildlife Consultant for the Born Free Foundation, Ian Redmond, said: “Last year I watched the French Government grind over three tonnes of illegal ivory to dust, last month Kenya torched 15 tonnes of ivory, and now Malawi has followed suit with its stockpile of four tonnes.
“People say, ‘Why not sell it and use the money to protect elephants?’ but that would be like throwing petrol on a fire.”
Jonathan Vaughan, Director of Lilongwe Wildlife Trust, said: “We hope the world sits up and gives Malawi the recognition it deserves for this symbolic act.
“So much has been achieved here in the past year and the ‘Stop Wildlife Crime’ campaign is just one of these initiatives. We’re seeing stiffer sentences, better inter-agency collaboration and the re-writing of laws.”