News Desk: South Africa to host talks on ivory ban,9/23/2016
The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) conference begins in Johannesburg Saturday, looking at the trade in elephant ivory. Namibia and Zimbabwe want the ban lifted so they can sell stockpiles and fund community elephant conservation initiatives. The radical move contradicts proposals put forward by a coalition of 29 other African countries that want a complete end to ivory trade. The signatories of the treaty, which came into force in 1975, are 182 countries and the European Union, with 5,600 animal and 30,000 plant species on their radar. The Johannesburg conference will sift through 62 proposals to tighten or loosen trade restrictions on some 500 species.