Zimbabwe leads SADC fight to sell elephant products


New Zimbabwe

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Zimbabwe will later this month host a conference comprising of 14 African states at which the nations are set to come up with one rallying point pushing for permission to sell elephant products.

The conference,  which will be held between May 23 and 25 Hwange, comes at a time Zimbabwe is seeking profitable means of disposing 100 tonnes of ivory, worth US$500 million in its stock.

In the past the Zanu PF government has sold the ivory to China and Japan.

Zimbabwe and its counterparts in Southern Africa have struggled to deal with such stocks as a result of an international agreement against their trade, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

Countries which are signatories to CITES are not permitted to trade in all elephant products.

“We are going to host an elephant conference with other countries who have elephants because we want to have one voice,” environment deputy minister Barbara Rwodzi said.

“We only have a capacity of having 40,000 elephants but because we have excellent conservation programme, the herd has grown to 90,000 and it’s causing problems,” Rwodzi said.

Southern Africa is home to 200,000 elephants, half of the total number still roaming earth.