BY KENNEDY SENELWA
Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia and South Africa want the restrictions imposed by Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (Cites) eased to enable them to sell off stockpiles of raw ivory. What informs this and can the appeal be accommodated?
The four countries, which have combined range land of approximately 500,000 square kilometers, host over 260,000 elephants — the highest numbers in all of Africa. These countries have a right to petition Cites to allow them to sell their ivory stockpiles, because that is what the system is for.
AWF would not like to see ivory sold because of past experience. When Cites in 1980s allowed Zimbabwe to sell the stockpiles to Japan, poachers took advantage to kill elephants in other countries and Tanzania lost about half of its herd.
What is there to stop poachers from doing the same again? As it is, buyers do not have biometrics to check tusks are from which country.
Poachers kill about 20,000 elephants in Africa annually. Read more…