Key forum fails to shield elephants
SEE ALSO :Siblings killed as they cross busy roadShe said the debate on the export of live baby elephants, in particular, may not yet be over. “The historical result in favour of a ban of exporting live elephants outside of Africa, which took place on Tuesday, August 18, has created quite a stir in Geneva, and continues to provoke intense debate among parties,” Weber said. But on the positive side, two proposals that would have resulted in a resumption of ivory sales by amending the CITES Appendices for the African elephant were roundly defeated. Attempts by Southern African elephant range States at CITES today to resume international sales of ivory stockpiles were rejected by governments. A proposal by Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe to sell stockpiled ivory from their countries also failed after a vote by delegates from 183 countries. “IFAW welcomes this outcome. Any legal market in ivory presents opportunities for the laundering of illegal ivory. We are yet to see any evidence that legal ivory trade is being adequately controlled to prevent this from happening,” said Matt Collis, International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) Director of International Policy.
SEE ALSO :MOTORSPORTS: Bhardwaj leaves a huge gapHe called on parties to focus on the closure of domestic markets and increase their law enforcement efforts to prevent illegal trade. “Poaching skyrocketed across Africa after the last ivory stockpile sales back in 2008. IFAW is delighted governments at CITES have chosen to reject repeating that failed experiment,” Collis said. Data show that elephants are in crisis with at least 20,000 being illegally killed each year for their ivory. On average around 55 elephants are poached every day in Africa. Recent analysis appears to show a clear correlation between the 2008 ivory stockpile sales and an increase in illegal trade and poaching. There has been an estimated increase of 71 per cent in ivory smuggling out of Africa following the 2008 stockpile sales. The proposal by Zambia to downlist its elephants was rejected by 102 countries with 22 in support and 13 abstentions. A similar proposal by Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe was rejected by 101 countries, with 23 in support and 18 abstentions.
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