A report from the World Wide Fund for Nature says Indonesia is a key country of origin for tiger parts and elephant ivory in the illegal trade of wild animal parts, but notes progress in protecting the country’s two native rhino species.
Released on Monday, the report “Wildlife Crime Scorecard” assessed 23 countries for their compliance with and enforcement of commitments under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) for tigers, rhinos and elephants.
Indonesia was categorized in the report as a “primarily origin” country for elephant ivory and tiger parts, but received a score of “failing on key aspects of compliance or enforcement.”
“Although Indonesia has increased its efforts to protect wild tiger populations and detect illegal trade, there remains a significant enforcement gap for tigers at the retail level, with Sumatra having a significant illegal domestic market for tiger parts,” the report said.
It also said that although Indonesia did not have high levels of internal ivory trade, it was implicated in 51 international ivory seizures from 1989 to 2009.
“A recent series of 12 elephant deaths in Aceh province is being investigated by the Ministry of Forestry for links to ivory trading,” the report added.
However, WWF noted that there were indications that “enhanced enforcement is providing a mitigating effect” against the poaching of rhinos, “to the extent that the country was one of the few in Asia not flagged for significant illegal trade in rhino horn.”
Indonesia is home to two rhino species, the Sumatran and Javan rhinos.
Both species are categorized as critically endangered, or just a step away from being extinct in the wild.