No deal again from CITES for elephant range States
Zimbabwe Situation via The Herald
November 22, 2022
A renewed proposal to permit limited international trade in stockpiled
elephant ivory by South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe, in which
CITES stands accused of acting as an inhibitor and not an enabler of
progress, has been rejected.
The 19th Conference of the Parties (CoP19) to the Convention on
International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES),
convening presently in Panama, reiterated its position that under CITES,
“all international trade in ivory is banned”.
The proposal, sponsored by Zimbabwe, points says although the four southern
African States host a majority of the world’s elephants in healthy
populations, sustaining this conservation success is expensive.
“Very little in CITES recognises or supports any of this enormous
achievement or serves to assist countries with large elephant populations
to continue protecting them…” the proposal says.
“CITES has acted as an inhibitor and not an enabler of progress.
“The Conference of the Parties has repeatedly discounted the importance of
the Southern African elephant population and its conservation needs against
other regions in Africa.”
The proposal added that it was time to remove the anomaly of having 256 000
elephants on Appendix II being treated as if they are on Appendix I,
against the wishes of the people who own them and who have the most to lose
or gain from them.
“How the playing field is level when States with little or no interest in
iconic species can overrule those responsible for conserving and living
with those species,” said Eugene Lapointe , who is coordinating the
activities of several pro-sustainable organisations in Panama, the CITES
Secretariat leaves as an exercise for the reader.
The ivory trade decision once again demonstrates that CoP19 is not willing
to reflect on the threat made by Tanzania, on behalf of the 16 members of
SADC, to withdraw from the Convention if the interests of range States are