SNAPP TEAM:Economics of Chinese Ivory Trade
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Our Challenge
Is the ivory market in China a demand- or supply-side driven market and what are the implications of this driver for the economics of regulation?

Elephants are in crisis. Every year, approximately 35,000 are killed, largely to supply the illegal international trade in ivory and meet demand in Asia – primarily China. This group provided the first comprehensive assessment of the economic costs and benefits to China of regulating a legal trade, which would have entailed combating the parallel illegal trade, compared to those of an outright ivory trade ban.

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Team Critical Challenge

The Chinese ban on ivory sales is spreading worldwide, spurred in part by our work with the Chinese government to consider the influence of speculative investment in ivory.

Note: All linked solutions below will open in a new tab.

Can Beijing's ivory ban save the elephants?
News coverage
China must act decisively to eradicate the ivory trade
Peer-reviewed paper
China, the UK and US have all now closed domestic ivory markets
News coverage
Chinese researchers explore how to implement ivory ban
(National Geographic)
News coverage
Ivory trade restrictions in China and U.S. critical to saving elephants
(Conservation Letters)
Peer-reviewed paper
Official announcement of China’s ivory ban from December 30, 2016
(Wildlife Conservation Society)
News coverage
Options for Chinese authorities to implement a domestic ivory trade ban
(Ecological Economics)
Peer-reviewed paper
Team Leaders
Aili Kang 
Wildlife Conservation Society 
Li “Aster” Zhang 
Beijing Normal University
Team Members
Eik Swee
The University of Melbourne
Linda Chou 
Former consultant of Wildlife Conservation Society 
Lishu Li 
Wildlife Conservation Society
Lulu Zhou 
The Nature Conservancy
Nan Jang
Nanjing Forest Police College 
Ross Harvey  
South African Institute of International Affairs
Simon Hedges  
Wildlife Conservation Society
Tianbao Qin
Wu Han University of China 
Wenhao Zhang
Doodod Technology Co. Ltd
Xianqiang Mao
Beijing Normal University
Yu Jin
China Northeast Forestry University
Zhanfeng Dong
Chinese Academy for Environmental Planning