Tuesday, 1 December 2015

25 African countries unite and call for immediate action to save elephants

Representatives of 25 African countries meeting have adopted a ground-breaking Declaration demanding a total ban on ivory trade worldwide, The David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation have reported. The  Cotonou Declaration  calls for immediate and decisive action to save the African elephant.

Representatives from the countries stressed that African elephants are facing the worst crisis since 1989 when all populations were listed on CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora), banning international ivory trade.
As a result, elephants are being decimated at an alarming rate throughout Africa, while human lives are being lost in attempts to protect this global flagship species. Protection was weakened in 1997 and 2000 when populations in four Southern Africa countries; Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe were down-listed to less endangered status to allow two sales of ivory stockpiles in 1999 and 2008. Between 2011 and 2013 alone, more than 100,000 elephants were killed for the ivory trade. 

The Cotonou Declaration aims to end this crisis by committing to strengthen collaboration between member States to secure the highest possible protection for all African elephant populations under international law.

Participants called for a strict ban on all international and domestic ivory trade, including re-listing all African elephant populations as most endangered. They also called on other countries and organisations to support the proposal.

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