In the powerful new Netflix documentary The Ivory Game, Elephant Action League Executive Director Andrea Crosta ominously warned that the entire fate of Africa’s elephants is in the hands of a single man, Chinese President Xi Jinping. Only President Xi has the power, argued Crosta, to shut down China’s domestic ivory trade that drives so much of the killing of Africa’s rapidly diminishing elephant population.
Crosta is among the central characters in The Ivory Game, along with Nairobi-based conservation activist Huang Hongxiang. Huang, who founded the non-profit organization China House Kenya, and Crosta traveled the world to expose the complex trading networks that facilitate the illicit ivory trade. While Huang generally agrees with Crosta that the Chinese president plays an out-sized role in the destiny of these animals, he also cautions that it will take more than just Xi Jinping’s policies to stop the killing.
Huang joins Eric and Cobus to discuss more about the under-cover sting operations he participated in for The Ivory Game, and why he feels it is so important to demonstrate that Chinese activists like him are risking their lives in the effort to save Africa’s elephants from extinction.
- “China’s Uphill Battle Against the Ivory Trade,” Liu Qin, The Diplomat, February 10, 2016
- “Is There a Plan B for Elephants? The Next Step in Saving Them Is Even Harder,” Daniel Stiles, chinadialogue, November 30, 2016