28 June 2012
Last updated at 10:03
Gabonese President, Ali Bongo, has set on fire nearly five tonnes of illegal ivory worth $9.3m (£6m), as part of attempts to deter poaching.
President Bongo said the burning was meant to send a "strong signal" to those who still traded in ivory.
The pyre that was kindled in the Gabonese capital, Libreville, represented the central African nation's entire government stockpile of confiscated ivory, which resulted from the killing of some 850 elephants.
“Gabon has a policy of zero tolerance for wildlife crime and we are putting in place the institutions and laws to ensure this policy is enforced,” said President Bongo.
Conservation group WWF has welcomed the move, saying it was an "indication of the country's commitment" to curbing elephant poaching and the ivory trade.
"We don't want our children to inherit an empty forest. For that reason, we cannot allow this trafficking to continue,” said President Bongo.
The BBC's Charles Mavoungou in Libreville says the discovery of about 20 elephant carcasses in April last year in two national parks in the north of the country enabled the authorities to identify trafficking rings working across Cameroon, Chad, Congo and Sudan.
Since the elephant massacre, wildlife security has been improved with park guards increased from 70 to 400 and the formation of a special 250-strong brigade of the paramilitary police for the national parks.