The Obvious Answer (also Economics 101) Is To Create a Steady Supply of Ivory Tusks

By Godfrey Harris
About 10 years ago I began to concentrate my public policy interests and ideas on the restrictions being applied to trade in products made from or with ivory.
The American government had decided that the way to defeat the poaching of elephants for their tusks was to end all sales of ivory products.
If no tusks were available to the ivory factories and carvers, the ivory industry would dry up. Simple stuff. It was mostly advanced by Dan Ash to impress Hilary Clinton who’s daughter was then involved with an animal rights group. The speculation was that Ash was angling for a bigger job in a Clinton Interior Department than head of the Fish and Wildlife Service.  
But the geniuses in Fish and Wildlife ignored their Economics 101: If demand for ivory products remained undiminished despite the American government, the price for ever scarcer tusks would inevitably rise.
The higher the price of a tusk, the greater the incentive to the poaching syndicates and the greater the threat to elephant populations.
The obvious answer (also Economics 101) is to create a steady supply of ivory tusks from national inventories and natural elephant deaths.
The price of ivory will settle at a level where available supplies meet the market demand. With the market satisfied, there is no excess profit and the syndicates have to look for another way to make money. I have been working on the mechanisms to make that a reality and to introduce them in the marketplace prior to CoP19 in Panama.
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Godfrey Jeff Harris, President
Harris/Ragan Management Group
PUBLIC POLICY CONSULTANTS SINCE 1968

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