African elephants live to fight for another day as the world comes to their rescue and flatly reject proposal to lift ban on ivory trade

Elephants wander at Amboseli National Park. (travel.jumia)
  • South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, and Zimbabwe tabled the controversial proposal at the 183rd CITES summit to reopen their ivory trade.
  • The new sale proposal was comprehensively voted down by 101 votes to 23. 
  • As many as 35,000 elephants are killed each year primarily for their tusks, according to the African Wildlife Foundation, an international conservation nonprofit.

The world has flatly rejected a proposal by four Southern Africa countries to lift the ban on ivory trade.

South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, and Zimbabwe tabled the controversial proposal at the 183rd CITES summit to reopen their ivory trade.

The four countries which host some of the largest elephant populations in the continent wanted to be allowed to sale their ivory stockpile in what they say the proceeds will be used to fund conservation and community development. 

“Africa is not one country, and our wildlife approaches will never be the same. We are being held hostage by the global ban on ivory sales,” said a Botswana delegate. 

Zimbabwe, which recently sold more than 90 elephants to China and Dubai for $2.7 million, said local communities in the country were suffering by not earning income from elephants.

 “They are the ones walking bare-footed, with no schools or hospitals.”

However, Mali’s delegate opposed lifting the ban, saying it was akin to opening a Pandora box.

 “It would unleash an absolute disaster.”

One-off sales took place in 1997 and 2008 and Kenya, which was opposed to the proposal from the word go, said the two experiments on the same had miserably failed and only lead to an increase in poaching. 

We have had two experiments and they failed”

The new sale proposal was comprehensively voted down by 101 votes to 23. The United States and the European Union were among those opposing the change and 18 countries abstained.

Thousands of elephants are still being slaughtered every day

The international commercial trade in ivory has been banned since 1990. However, about 50 elephants are still being poached every day to supply ivory traffickers and all countries agree the world’s largest land animal needs greater protection. 

As many as 35,000 elephants are killed each year primarily for their tusks, according to the African Wildlife Foundation, an international conservation nonprofit.

Countries which voted no argue that any resumption of ivory sales could fuel a boost in the illegal ivory market and hasten the extinction of African elephants.

Gabon wants to end all trade on ivory

32 African nations are of the opinion that all trade in elephants must end, including the trophy hunting legal in some states in order to save the world’s largest land animal.

Another proposal, led by Gabon, to end all international trade in elephants by permanently eliminating all commercial international trade of the animals throughout Africa also failed to pass.

 “If we don’t act now it is quite possible our grandchildren will not have the opportunity to see elephants.” said Gabon delegate.

Botswana, fiercely opposed Gabon’s proposal terming it “totally ridiculous” and South Africa declared that it was “affronted”. 

The proposal was defeated, 67 to 51, leaving a stalemate.

JOIN OUR PULSE COMMUNITY!

Unblock notifications in browser settings.

Eyewitness? Submit your stories now via social or:

Email: news@pulselive.co.ke

Recommended articles

Where is Mr Tembo? Ex-Tahidi High principal resurfaces [Video]

Where is Mr Tembo? Ex-Tahidi High principal resurfaces [Video]

Baby mama drama strikes Dennis Itumbi

Baby mama drama strikes Dennis Itumbi

Diana Marua hospitalized, Bahati gives update [Photos]

Diana Marua hospitalized, Bahati gives update [Photos]

Betty Kyallo shares photos of the first Subaru she bought after joining KTN

Betty Kyallo shares photos of the first Subaru she bought after joining KTN

Fred Obachi Machoka’s heartfelt message to his wife of 41 years [Photos]

Fred Obachi Machoka’s heartfelt message to his wife of 41 years [Photos]

Yvette Obura’s heartwarming message to Diana Marua excites Kenyans

Yvette Obura’s heartwarming message to Diana Marua excites Kenyans

Emotional Harmonize exposes Diamond as their beef heats up [Video]

Emotional Harmonize exposes Diamond as their beef heats up [Video]

Nick Ndeda talks relationship with Betty Kyallo & why he keeps his kids private

Nick Ndeda talks relationship with Betty Kyallo & why he keeps his kids private

Eddie Butita: How Bahati and Diana stole and sold my show [Video]

Eddie Butita: How Bahati and Diana stole and sold my show [Video]