CITES urged to quash possibility of legal ivory trade


Gilbert Koech, The Star

Date Published

Local and international wildlife NGOs have petitioned CITES to protest African elephants and extinguish any possibility of legalised ivory trade.

They have asked parties to the convention to list elephants on CITES Appendix I, therefore providing them the highest standard of international protection.

“With about 400,000 elephants remaining in Africa, strong action is needed now to save these animals,” they said, adding that nearly 100 African elephants are slaughtered each day for their ivory.

They noted that elephants in Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe should be listed in this appendix in order to prohibit international commercial ivory trade.

The group said poaching and illegal trade in ivory is driving elephant populations toward extinction.

The lobby groups consist of Amboseli Trust for Elephants, Big Life Foundation, the Born Free Foundation, the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation and Elephant Action League.

Others are Elephants DC, Elephant Voices, Foundation Franz Weber, Humane Society International, International Primate Protection League, Pro Wildlife, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the Society for the Conservation of Marine Mammals, Denmark, and the US Friends of the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.

The groups also want domestic markets for elephant ivory closed, stockpiles destroyed, and have called for an end to decision-making mechanisms legalising trade in ivory.

They have also asked CITES to prohibit export of live African elephants.

The 17th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP) will take place in Johannesburg, South Africa from 24 September to 5 October 2016.