By Matt McGrath
Different approaches to protecting elephants are set to dominate the debate at a key conservation conference starting in Geneva today.
Delegates from more than 180 countries are gathering for the meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites).
Some African nations are again pushing to reopen the trade in ivory.
However, others are seeking the highest possible protections for all of Africa’s elephants.
The Cites meeting, held every three years, will discuss a record 56 proposalssubmitted by governments to the Conference of the Parties, known as COP18.
The COP was due to be held in Sri Lanka earlier this year but was moved to Switzerland in the wake of the bomb attacks at Easter.
Key among the items on the agenda will be competing ideas on how to protect African elephants, which have seen a huge decline in numbers due to poaching over the past 20 years.
A study published in 2016 estimated that 30-40,000 of the giant creatures were killed by poachers every year with roughly 400,000 left in total.