Friday 24 May 2019

Raw ivory sales: Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia call for end to ban

Southern African countries to appeal to watchdog for permission to sell stockpiled ivory worth more than £230m
Tue 21 May 2019 13.41 BST
Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia are making a fresh appeal for a global watchdog to lift restrictive measures on the trade in raw ivory.
The watchdog, Cites, prohibits unregulated commercial trade in endangered species around the world.
The three southern African countries, home to 61% of the continent’s elephants, will make their application for the change at the Cites conference in Colombo, Sri Lanka, which opens on Thursday. Their last appeal for a lifting of the measures, at the 2016 Cites conference in South Africa, was rejected.
According to Zimbabwe’s ministry of information, it is almost 13 years since the country’s last commercial sale of ivory. “Our ivory stockpile is worth over $300m [£235m], which we can’t sell because countries without elephants are telling those with them what to do with their animals,” Nick Mangwana, the ministry’s permanent secretary, said.
There is a growing outcry over the ban, and moves to lift it could earn Zimbabwe much-needed funds for conservation.
Zimbabwe will also make a separate appeal at the conference for permission to sell some of its elephants, as conflict between people and wildlife escalates.

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