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ELECTION 2022

Elephants face extinction, warns lobby

COAST
By Philip Mwakio | Jul 6th 2016 | 2 min read
An African Elephant with her calf. PHOTO: COURTESY

MOMBASA: Elephants will be extinct in Africa in 25 years if the current poaching rate continues, a global lobby group has warned.

African Elephant Coalition (AEC), in a report published on Monday, now wants the European Union and the European Commission to ban ivory trade.

“Elephants are experiencing catastrophic declines from poaching. From 2010 to 2012, at least 100,000 elephants were killed in Africa for their ivory, many of them in AEC countries,’’ Azizou El Hadj Issa, president of the Council of Elders of the AEC, said.

Mr Issa claimed ivory trade was fuelling terrorism, which was affecting the continent and has huge repercussions for the EU security.

AEC has 29 members, with 26 States being from Africa.

“We need the EU to support us and become part of the solution to this crisis. We, the Africans, have that solution and we call on the EU and its member States to throw their support behind our proposals,” he said in the report.

In Brussels last week, a delegation of the AEC met with several high-level officials of the European Commission and of the EU member States to seek support for their five-part package to put an end to the ivory trade and afford elephants the highest protection under international law.

The AEC is also calling on the EU to extend its commitment toward implementing the African Elephant Action Plan, adopted by all African elephant range States in 2010.

FIVE PROPOSALS

The AEC’s package consists of five proposals to the 17th Conference of the Parties (CoP17) of CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species), which will run from September 24 to October 5 in Johannesburg, South Africa.

One of the proposals seeks to unify all African elephant populations.

This would provide maximum protection to elephants and end the split-listing by transferring from Appendix II (a less endangered status) the populations of Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

The African elephant as a species is not constrained within State borders, nor indeed are national populations. Many are shared with more than one country, arguing for a unified approach to their regulation under CITES.

“The African elephant is a single species and the CITES listing needs to reflect that,” says Andrew Seguya, Executive Directive of Uganda’s Wildlife Authority.

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