Traffico di avorio, l’Italia dice no con la prima distruzione pubblica

di Michele Costanzo 68

Anche l'Italia aderisce alla campagna internazionale Ivory Crush che si oppone al traffico di avorio. Il Circo Massimo di Roma teatro di una risposta forte e altamente simbolica.

Traffico di avorio
Anche l’Italia prende una nuova posizione forte contro il traffico d’avorio. Aderendo alla campagna internazionale Ivory Crush a Roma è in programma per domani la prima distruzione pubblica di centinaia di chilogrammi di avorio confiscato dalle autorità italiane.

La campagna Ivory Crush contro il traffico di avorio

Ivory Crush è il nome di una campagna internazionale che si propone non solo di contrastare attivamente il traffico di avorio ma anche di sensibilizzare l’opinione pubblica sugli effetti disastrosi che questo commercio illegale genera per l’ambiente e per i popoli. Proprio per questo la formula dell’iniziativa prevede la distruzione dell’avorio confiscato in luoghi pubblici di grande valore simbolico e culturale. Eventi del genere sono stati già organizzati ad esempio negli Stati Uniti a Times Square in New York ed in Francia nella spianata della Torre Eiffel di Parigi.

Per il primo Ivory Crush italiano è stato invece scelto il teatro naturale del Circo Massimo di Roma con un evento pubblico in programma per domani 31 marzo 2016 a partire dalla ore 17. Organizzato su iniziativa del Ministero dell’Ambiente, del Corpo Forestale dello Stato e dell’ONG internazionale Elephant Action League, l’Ivory Crush ribadisce l’impegno del nostro Paese nella lotta al bracconaggio, al traffico di avorio ed alle organizzazioni criminali che da queste attività traggono un illecito profitto.

All’evento romano è prevista la presenza del Ministro dell’Ambiente Gian Luca Galletti, del capo del Corpo Forestale dello Stato Cesare Patrone, del Commissario Prefettizio di Roma Francesco Paolo Tronca e dei fondatori di Elephant Action League Andrea Crosta e Gilda Moratti oltre che di altre autorità e di ospiti internazionali. Durante la manifestazione oltre mezza tonnellata di avorio confiscato sarà fisicamente distrutto con l’impiego di una macchina industriale schiacciasassi. Il materiale sgretolato verrà quindi smaltito definitivamente. Come accennato il messaggio che partirà dall’Ivory Crush del Circo Massimo ha l’obiettivo di aumentare la consapevolezza collettiva sul commercio illegale di avorio anche attraverso la diffusione dei numeri impressionanti che questo triste fenomeno si porta dietro.

Oltre ai già citati casi degli Stati Uniti e della Francia, anche Cina, Belgio, Filippine, Kenya, Gabon, Etiopia, Sri Lanka e Malawi hanno scelto di distruggere pubblicamente in modo completo o parziale i propri stock di avorio requisiti creando una sorta di staffetta civile con cui dare risonanza alla battaglia contro il contrabbando. In questo percorso la tappa del Circo Massimo passerà il testimone ad una analoga iniziativa in Kenya. Nel Paese africano il 30 aprile è previsto vengano bruciate circa 120 tonnellate di avorio, la quantità più elevata mai distrutta finora.

Il traffico di avorio è illegale dal 1989

Nel presentare l’Ivory Crush di Roma il sito del Ministero dell’Ambiente ricorda come il commercio internazionale di avorio è vietato già dal 1989. Nonostante la diffusa adesione alla convenzione internazionale che ne ha sancito il bando, ancora oggi si stima che nella sola Africa, a causa del commercio dell’avorio, ogni anno vengano uccisi 35 mila elefanti ad un ritmo tale da aver messo in serio rischio la stessa sopravvivenza della specie.

Oltre che sull’ambiente e sulla biodiversità, il traffico di avorio ha pesanti ricadute economiche sulle popolazioni del territori in cui avviene il bracconaggio. Grandi regioni dell’Africa sono state negli anni impoverite da questo commercio illegale che da fenomeno inizialmente limitato e circoscritto si è sempre più trasformato in un commercio illegale di livello sovranazionale. E proprio in questo mutamento di scala del fenomeno si nasconde un altro effetto nefasto del traffico di avorio che è diventato un canale di finanziamento per organizzazioni criminali di ogni livello.

L’Italia come Paese sottoscrittore della Convenzione di Washington aderisce alla CITES (Convenzione sul commercio internazionale delle specie minacciate di estinzione) ed applica regole molto rigide per quanto riguarda il commercio di fauna e flora selvatiche in pericolo di estinzione. Proprio nel contesto del CITES si è arrivata alla messa al bando del traffico di avorio con un impegno condiviso su larga scala a livello mondiale. L’applicazione degli impegni della Convenzione di Washington è seguita in Italia da vari Ministeri ed a livello operativo è portata avanti dal Corpo forestale dello Stato. Proprio il Corpo forestale dello Stato è attivamente impegnato su tutto il territorio nazionale con azioni finalizzate a prevenire e bloccare il commercio illegale di avorio ed i traffici illegali che ne derivano.

Una minaccia per gli elefanti

L’avorio commercializzato illegalmente arriva dalla zanne di poche specie animali tra cui ippopotamo, tricheco, narvalo, elefante asiatico ed elefante africano. L’effetto del bracconaggio e del traffico di avorio è stato particolarmente devastante proprio in Africa dove la diffusione dell’elefante ha registrato una drammatica flessione.

All’inizio del XIX secolo si stima che nel continente africano vivessero circa 25 milioni di elefanti. Un secolo dopo questa popolazione si era già drammaticamente ridotta a soli 5 milioni di esemplari. Attualmente, ricorda ancora il sito del Ministero dell’Ambiente, si stima che in Africa siano rimasti solo 350 mila elefanti, appena un ordine di grandezza in più dei 35 mila esemplari uccisi ogni anno. Un dato quanto mai eloquente.

Photo | Thinkstock

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