Zambia says it will re-submit bid to sell ivory at CITES

Zambia: Region to Resubmit Ivory Trade BidTimes of Zambia
30 July 2010

TOURISM, Environment and Natural Resources Minister Catherine Namugala has said Zambia will resubmit its proposal to the parties to the Convention in International Trade and Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) to enable Zambia trade in ivory.

In a ministerial statement in Parliament yesterday, Ms Namugala said Zambia would submit its proposal to the next conference of parties scheduled to take place in Bangkok, Thailand in 2013.

During the last CITES in Doha, Qatar, held on March 13 to 25, Zambia had applied that the country’s elephant population be down listed from appendix I to II so that the nation could be allowed to trade in ivory but the proposal was rejected.

“Zambia as a sovereign State still has the right to resubmit a proposal to the next conference of Parties 16 which is scheduled to take place in Thailand in 2013.

To increase the chances for favourable consideration of our resubmission, we plan to increase funding allocated to law enforcement in lower Zambezi National Park and to reduce the high level of illegal off takes,” Ms Namugala said.

Through diplomatic channels with foreign missions, Zambia would engage regional groupings to support the intentions to down list the elephants.

The ministry would step up measures to monitor elephant population as well as controlling illegal trade.

Kenya, through some non-governmental organisations (NGOs) was against Zambia’s proposal.

Ms Namugala said this when she responded to questions from Chimbamilonga MP Brian Sikazwe (MMD) and Kankoyo MP Percy Chanda (PF) who wanted to know which countries and NGOs were against Zambia’s bid.

She, however, said the entire Southern African Development Community (SADC) region was behind Zambia’s proposal.

Article at the following link:
http://allafrica.com/stories/201007300776.html

Massive Haul of Ivory Seized in Thailand

Barely three months after we shared the news of the seizure of some 1.4 tons of ivory worth about $2 million in Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport, another massive haul has been netted in the same airport. This second batch, consisting of 117 elephant tusks and nine other pieces of ivory, weighing 765 kilos (1,683 pounds) and valued at 38.3 million baht (1.2 million dollars), was flown in from Kenya, continuing to expose how porous Kenya’s points of exit are.

The AFP report that broke these news says that Thailand is a commonly-used transit point for illegal trade in ivory and other wildlife parts. Kenya is also increasingly being seen as a conduit for illegal ivory trade as most of the consignments seized in recent months is said to have originated elsewhere but smuggled through Kenya. The Daily Nation reports that the Kenya Revenue Authority commissioner, Michael Waweru, blamed failure to intercept the cargo at Kenya airports and ports on laxity of customs officers and security agencies.

“It is largely a failure on both our part and the security agencies although KRA is not able to do 100 per cent verification of all items,” he said.

No arrests have been made in connection with the recent discovery of the contraband ivory in Bankok. The ivory was stashed in containers labeled as furniture and plastic folders.

The recent haul brings the total of intercepted loads since February to three adding up to a total of  652 tusks worth more than $7 million.

Elephant champion wins conservation prize

Our good friend and a personal mentor of mine, Iain Douglas Hamilton has won a very important conservation award. We take this opportunity to contragulate him for his exceptional work on elephants.

Iain Douglas Hamilton

Save the Elephants founder Iain Douglas-Hamilton, Ph.D., who was recently featured in Animal Planet’s “Secret Life of Elephants,” has been named the 2010 recipient of the Indianapolis Prize, the world’s leading award for animal conservation.

“The plight of the African elephant is intensely personal to Iain. He has studied, named and nurtured thousands of African elephants for generations, and it is this intimate understanding of and love for these magnificent mammals that drives Iain’s forceful efforts to secure a future for endangered African elephants,” said Michael Crowther, President/CEO, Indianapolis Zoo. “Iain truly epitomizes what it means to be a hero.”

During Douglas-Hamilton’s career to save elephants, he has been squashed by rhino, targeted by poachers, suffered exotic diseases, survived plane crashes, and persevered through drought and floods. Forty years ago he pioneered the first elephant social behavior study which set the standard for every study that followed. Recently the world-renowned elephant conservationist teamed with Google Earth to show real time elephant movement via satellite imagery.

“Iain is a one-of-a-kind encyclopedia on elephants. His breadth of knowledge, derived from personal experience, observation, and interactions with managers, politicians, and land owners, is a critical and unique asset to conservation,” said George Wittemyer, assistant professor in Colorado State University’s Department of Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Biology, a protégé who has worked with Douglas-Hamilton since 1997. “His legacy to the conservation community, general public and the African elephant includes alerting the world to the risks of its overexploitation, original and continued research on the behavior and ecology of the species, identification of critical populations/regions facing extreme threats, creation and implementation of novel solutions to the multitude of emerging conservation issues, and educating the public about the wonders and intelligence of the African elephant, its habitats, and the people with which it coexists.”

In addition to receiving $100,000, Douglas-Hamilton will be honored with the Lilly Medal at a gala ceremony on Sept. 25, 2010 at The Westin Hotel in Indianapolis.

The Indianapolis Prize was initiated by the Indianapolis Zoo as a significant component of its mission to empower people and communities, both locally and globally, to advance animal conservation. The biennial $100,000 Indianapolis Prize represents the largest individual monetary award for animal conservation in the world and is given as an unrestricted gift to the chosen honoree.

Thailand seizes 1.4 tons of ivory at airport on tip-off from Qatar

via Melissa Groo – Save The Elephants

Thailand seizes 1.4 tons of ivory at airport on tip-off from Qatar

Associated Press
April 21, 2010

BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) – Thailand has seized 1.4 tons of elephant tusks, worth more than $2 million, hidden in crates labeled as computer printers, officials said Wednesday.

Thai Customs officials confiscated the 296 tusks Saturday at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport, acting on a tip from authorities in Qatar where the ivory was shipped from, said Kornsiri Pinnarat, deputy director-general of the Customs Department.

The seizure reflects how Thailand has emerged as a hub for the illicit ivory trade.

Poaching of elephants in central and eastern Africa has intensified in recent years, with much of the illegal ivory exported to Asia.

“Smuggled ivory comes from every part of world to Thailand,” Kornsiri told a news conference. “In this case, the ivory was imported to be turned into jewelry, like rings and bracelets and decorative ornaments.”

He said the estimated value of the ivory was 70 million baht ($2.2 million).

Ivory shipped to Thailand typically goes to carvers who fashion it into Buddhist statues, bangles and jewelry to sell to tourists in Thailand or in other countries. Thailand is also a transit point for ivory forwarded to other markets like China.

In February, the Thai authorities seized two tons of elephant tusks from Africa labeled as mobile phone parts destined for Laos.

The U.N. Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species banned all international ivory trade in 1989. But a legal loophole in Thailand, which does not address domestic trade, has led to a thriving local ivory industry.

Article at the following link:

http://www.canadianbusiness.com/markets/market_news/article.jsp?content=D9F7DPKG2

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Melissa Groo
Save the Elephants News Service Researcher
For further information on elephants please see Save the Elephants’ web site
at http://www.savetheelephants.org

MPs say No to EA common market (Tanzania)

via Melissa Groo – Save The Elephants

MPs say No to EA common market (Tanzania)

Florence Mugarula, The Citizen
April 19 2010

Some MPs have advised the government to abandon the East Africa Common Market idea for the time being and sort out its relations with other regional partners instead.

They made the suggestions here yesterday during a workshop to enlighten them on the EA Common Market protocol.

They cited Kenya as a country that showed hostility towards integration agenda by campaigning against the government’s plans to sell part of its stock- pile of ivory.

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites) held recently in Doha rejected Tanzania’s request on the ground that allowing any country to sell ivory for whatever reason could fuel poaching of elephants.

Yesterday’s workshop was held ahead of the tabling of the EA Com- mon Market Protocol in Parliament next week for ratification.

But MPs were categorical that Kenya’s attitude had demonstrated that the much talked about brotherly relations between East Africans were based on utopian thinking.

However, some MPs urged that rejecting the EA Common Market based on the outcome of Doha conference would be illogical.

The minister for EAC, Dr Diodorus Kamara, told the lawmakers that President Jakaya Kikwete, alongside his counterparts in the region, had already signed the protocol, giving a green light to the countries to ratify the law.

He said it would be very unbecoming for MPs if they refused to agree to what the Head of State has assented to.

But Mr James Lembeli (Kahama- CCM) said more time was needed for

Tanzania to mull over the issue because the “system will only benefit other countries, especially Kenya.” “I am saying this because I know how our friends behave…
Kenya was in the frontline to campaign against us in Doha, what kind of common market will we have with such people?” he asked.

He said it was strange that Kenya was among countries that were pointing an accusing finger at Tanzania for condoning poaching while Kenya has fewer elephants than Tanzania.

Same East MP Anna Kilango Malecela (CCM) weighed in, saying Tanzania should push for a delay in implementation of Common Market for at least another ten years so that the country prepares better for it.

On Dr Kamala’s statement that the Protocol has been signed by the presidents, she said MPs have powers to reject anything sanctioned by the Head of State if they feel that it is not at par with national interest.

Ms Kilango added the common market was aiming at benefiting few countries and that the vivid example was clearly shown in Doha where all East African countries campaigned against Tanzania.

The deputy speaker, Ms Anna Makinda cited at lack good coordination, patriotism and extreme bureaucracy as major factors impeding Tanzanians from developing.

She said poor coordination among ministries and ministers

as well as other workers was a big problem that makes Tanzanians to miss the common idea when it comes on making arguments and decisions on national matters.
The Lulindi MP, Mr Suleimani Kumchaya, was also of the opin- ion that East Africa Common Mar- ket was impossible to implement at this stage because Tanzanians still needed to be educated on the arrangement.

“The whole World has wit- nessed Tanzania being ashamed by Kenya because of our ivory, we cannot allow Common Market under these circumstances, I think our friends do not think about this cooperation in the same context as us,” said Mr Kumchaya.

For his part, the Kongwa MP, Job Ndungai (CCM) expressed concern over what his colleagues were proposing.

Article at the following link:

http://thecitizen.co.tz/sunday-citizen/40-sunday-citizen-news/1455-mps-say-no-to-ea-common-market.html

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Melissa Groo
Save the Elephants News Service Researcher
For further information on elephants please see Save the Elephants’ web site
at http://www.savetheelephants.org

Namibia to Continue Trading in Omakipa

via Melissa Groo – Save The Elephants

Namibia to continue trading in omakipa

By Charles Tjatindi, Southern Times
April 19, 2010

Windhoek – Namibia will continue to trade in Omakipa – ivory amulets and trinkets often used in jewellery – following the withdrawal of a proposal by Kenya seeking to amend the current annotation regarding the elephants population of Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

CITES, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild fauna and Flora banned the international commercial ivory trade in 1989. In 1997 and 2002, recognising that some southern African elephant populations were healthy and well managed, it permitted Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe to sell stocks of ivory to Japan totalling over 150 tonnes.

Kenya, which had roped in Congo, Ghana, Liberia, Mali, Rwanda, Sierra Leone to support its cause to halt international trade in African elephant ivory and a 20-year moratorium on any proposals to relax international trade controls on African elephants, was however forced to withdraw its proposal at the recent CITES 15th Conference of Parties meeting (CoP15) in Doha, Qatar.

Kenya had also proposed that state parties to CITES destroy their rhino horn stock where desirable to discourage poaching.
Zimbabwe, which has well over 200 tonnes in ivory stockpiles, Tanzania (90 tonnes) and Zambia (21 tonnes) were however left celebrating at the end of the CoP15, as the same convention also resulted in Kenya withdrawing that proposal.

The proposal by Kenya and allies would have extended the moratorium on ivory trade for the next 20 years and forced them to burn their ivory stockpiles.

Requests by Tanzania and Zambia for down listing their elephants populations to the Appendix II – which would allow the two countries to sell government-owned stocks that have accumulated over the years – were however rejected.

Debate on the African elephant, which proved prominent an the conference, intensified during the two-week meeting as parties locked horns over the issue. A long-running global debate over the African elephant has focussed on the benefits that income from ivory sales may bring to conservation and to local communities living side by side with these large and potentially dangerous animals versus concerns that such sales may encourage poaching.

Over 150 Governments voting at the meeting adopted, however, decisions to strengthen wildlife management for several reptiles, combat illegal trafficking in tigers and rhinos and update the trade rules for a wide range of plant and animal species.

The 15th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention was held from 13 – 25 March. It was attended by some 1,200 participants from 150 governments and numerous observer organizations. COP16 will be held in 2013 in Thailand.

Article at the following link:

http://www.southerntimesafrica.com/article.php?title=Nam%20to%20continue%20trading%20in%20omakipa&id=3973&sid=99795b43608fe9e3629399d84dc363b9

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Melissa Groo
Save the Elephants News Service Researcher
For further information on elephants please see Save the Elephants’ web site
at http://www.savetheelephants.org

Ivory, python, leopard skins confiscated in Kenya

Courtesy of Melissa Groo – Save The Elephants

Ivory, python, leopard skins confiscated in Kenya

Associated Press

April 12, 2010

Police official Phomas Atuti says the three Kenyans were arrested in the capital of Nairobi on Monday after a tip-off.

They were trying to sell a small amount of ivory and the skins of three python, a leopard and three civet cats.

The animals are protected under Kenyan law.

Kenya recently has pushed African countries to step up enforcement against animal poaching, particularly poachers who target elephants for their ivory tusks. African ivory is often sent to China and Japan, where demand for ivory is high.

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Melissa Groo
Save the Elephants News Service Researcher
For further information on elephants please see Save the Elephants’ web site
at http://www.savetheelephants.org

Kenya weighs options to dispose ivory stockpile, after CITES vote

via Melissa Groo – Save the Elephants

Kenya weighs options to dispose ivory stockpile, after CITES vote

By COSMAS BUTUNYI, The East African
April 5 2010

Even after successfully waging a campaign that saw the defeat of a proposal for a one- off ivory sale by Tanzania and Zambia, Kenya is considering various ways of disposing of its own stockpiles.

Sources estimate the country’s stockpiles could raise $9 million for the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS).

An assistant director of KWS in charge of species and conservation management, Patrick Omondi, said the disposal plans have been under consideration since 2000. A series of proposals are soon to be presented to the Cabinet.

Among the options that the country is exploring is a non-commercial buyout where the ivory will be offered for sale to a consortium of donors before it is destroyed.

Another alternative is the establishment of ivory museums in one of the national parks where elephant skulls and other body parts preserved after the animal’s natural death would be on display.

Visitors would pay extra and the money charges that would be invested in elephant management and conservation.

“The issue has now been left to the government to decide,” Mr Omondi said.

While part of the ivory stockpile was seized from poachers, the rest was retrieved from elephants that died out of natural causes.

It is two decades since the last ivory stockpiles, then only 12 tonnes, were torched by former president Daniel Moi.

The decision on how to dispose of the ivory will however, have to wait until the expiry of a nine year moratorium against trade in ivory that began in February last year.

In addition to this, the country will have to conform to the proposals laid down in the Elephant Action Plan that was ratified at the recently concluded Conference of Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species held in Doha, Qatar.

At the meeting, the 175 countries that are party to the Cites convention voted against down listing elephant populations in Tanzania and Zambia, that would have paved way for a one- off sale of their 90 and 21 tonnes respectively, and reinstated a nine-year moratorium on ivory trade.

While maintaining that relations between Kenya and Tanzania have not been soured by the conflicting stands, Mr Omondi said the ban is intended to allow for the monitoring of the impact of legal ivory sales on elephant populations, besides implementing an elaborate African Elephant Action Plan across the 36 African range states.

“Our relationship with Tanzania is good and we deal with several cross border issues,” added KWS director, Julius Kipng’etich.

Meanwhile, the KWS is fundraising for its recently established wildlife conservation and management kitty, aimed at cushioning it from external shocks such as the 2007 post election violence that resulted in a drastic drop in tourist numbers.

The kitty to be launched in July, targets $100 million in the next 10 years, and amounts raised from the disposal of ivory would be a major boost.

According to the KWS head of resource mobilisation, Edwin Wanyonyi, only $300,000 has been raised so far.

“Once the fund is set up, conservation efforts will not have to wait for resources from external sources to support basic operations,” Mr Wanyonyi said.

The KWS is using the animal adoption programme to raise money for the endowment fund; Mr Kipng’etich said that the government would also increase allocations.

Dr Kipng’etich said the organisation’s internal revenue from entry charges to national parks and game reserves stands at $30 million.

“This revenue stream is however susceptible to external shocks,” said Dr Kipng’etich.

Presently, 70 per cent of the investment into wildlife conservation and management is raised from internal sources, five per cent from international organisations and government takes up the rest.

Article at the following link:

http://www.theeastafrican.co.ke/news/-/2558/892536/-/ptdawaz/-/

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Melissa Groo
Save the Elephants News Service Researcher
For further information on elephants please see Save the Elephants’ web site
at http://www.savetheelephants.org

All ivory trade illegal, poachers told

Melissa Groo of Save the Elephants has brought to our attention some very disturbing trends in reckless reporting on the part of the media in southern Africa concerning the legality/illegality of ivory trade. Make sure you have a look at the two misleading articles included under the first one which clarifies the legal status of ivory trade in that region.

Melissa says:

In the wake of CITES, several misleading articles have been published. These are addressed by this story. A couple of such articles are included further down.

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All ivory trade illegal, poachers told

The Zimbabwean
31 March 2010 08:57

HARARE – Poaching ivory is illegal, in all cases and throughout Zimbabwe, contrary to some reports in the media. Stories suggesting that Zimbabwe had been given the green light by CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) to continue to sell ivory were totally incorrect, an inside source told The Zimbabwean this week. At a recent CITES meeting, held in Doha, Qatar, Zimbabwe did not have any proposal on the table seeking approval to trade in ivory. In fact, Zimbabwe is bound by a moratorium that does not permit any further ivory trade for nine years. Zimbabwe is not even permitted to reapply for permission to trade in ivory until the year 2017. The same applies to South Africa, Namibia and Botswana. Only Tanzania and Zambia applied to the recent CITES meeting for permission to trade. Both applications were rejected.

Article at the following link: http://www.thezimbabwean.co.uk/2010033129773/tourism/all-ivory-trade-illegal-poachers-told.html

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Zimbabwe gets green light to sell ivory

ZimOnline 26 March 2010

HARARE – The 175-member Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) has given Zimbabwe the green light to continue trading in ivory despite attempts by some African countries to have a 20-year moratorium, a government official told ZimOnline on Thursday. Speaking on condition that his name was not published the official said the authorisation to continue trading in ivory, follows submissions by Harare on the benefits the country’s wildlife industry is giving communities. “CITES has given us the green light to continue trading in ivory,” the senior government official who is part of Environment Minister Francis Nhema’s delegation attending a CITES meeting which ended in Qatar yesterday said. “This is a major relief to us. We are spending some US$13 million in terms of security and the administration of the ivory we would have recovered from either poachers or dead animals.” According to the official Nhema is expected to officially announce the CITES position upon his return from the Middle East country. Zimbabwe’s bid to continue trade in ivory looked doomed following appeals by Kenya, which lobbied the world conservation body not to allow trade in ivory. The east African country had suggested that there be a 20-year moratorium on moves to ease international trade controls on elephant ivory. “Kenya’s proposal would have been disastrous for our conservation efforts,” the official said. Zimbabwe’s elephants alongside those of other African countries are listed under CITES Appendix I, in which trade is prohibited. The last CITES meeting in 2007 agreed to a nine-year moratorium on any further trade in ivory, after a sale of 105 tonnes of elephant ivory from Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe to China and Japan. Elephants, the world’s largest land mammals, are under pressure in many parts of Africa from poaching, loss of habitats to farms and towns, pollution and climate change. Estimates indicate that the numbers have fallen to between 470 000-685 000 against millions a few decades ago. Although Zimbabwe’s proposal has received a nod from the world body, Zambia’s and Tanzania’s appeal to be allowed to sell has been short down. In 2008, Zimbabwe, Botswana, South Africa and Namibia were allowed a once-off sale of their ivory stockpiles. Currently, Harare does not have any ivory stockpiles after it was granted permission for a once-off sale in 2007, but later sold the ivory in 2008.

Article at the following link: http://www.zimonline.co.za/Article.aspx?ArticleId=5871

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Botswana to continue selling ivory every nine years

MARANYANE NGWANAAMOTHO,
Mmegi Online March 31, 2010

Botswana, like other SADC countries will still be able to sell ivory every nine years after Kenya and its allies withdrew their proposed 20-year selling moratorium. The recent CITES conference held in Doha revealed that African countries are divided on the issue of selling elephants. Deputy Permanent Secretary under the Ministry of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism, Edmond Moabi, told the media yesterday that the African Elephant Qualition Group, led by Kenya withdrew their proposal, which was that the selling moratorium of ivory be increased from nine years to 20 years. “SADC states, which have large numbers of elephants do not have any problem with the nine-year selling period while the Southern, Central and Western parts of Africa are against ivory trade,” he said. He however, revealed that if they decide not to sell elephants, they would be endangering other animal species that are found in that area or country. “People who do not want to sell are those who have very little while we have thousands of elephants,” said Moabi. He said that Kenya and her allies withdrew their proposal when they realised that they might not be successful after Tanzania’s proposal to be moved to appendix II was denied. Tanzania’s proposal was turned down on the grounds that if upgraded to appendix II, thus allowing her to sell, this would pave way for more poaching and illegal trading of ivory. “So Kenya and her allies realised that it would be difficult to advocate for a 20 year moratorium, and they then withdrew the proposal they had made at the last conference. We are, therefore, still at the nine-year moratorium,” he said. For the proposal to be successful, the group had to win two thirds of the votes. Because of such differences SADC agreed to meet again and discuss a way forward that would bridge the gap that exists between SADC nations and the rest of Africa. While SADC has in the past donated elephants to other countries they have failed to collect them. “This is due to costs involved. It is very costly to transport elephants for very long distances and no elephant has been collected thus far,” said Moabi. He revealed that there is always a provision for countries that cannot control their elephants. “They can withdraw from CITES and find their own buyers,” he said. Withdrawing from CITES, however, would mean that the countries concerned would have to find their own buyers who would also have to withdraw from CITES unless they were never members. Currently, the only buyers that Botswana has are Japan and China. At the conference, Botswana was given an award and P100 000 as acknowledgement for being the only country that has been consistent with providing intelligent information on animal theft and control. The money will be used for capacity building in the training of the stakeholders involved.

Article at the following link: http://www.mmegi.bw/index.php?sid=1&aid=1415&dir=2010/March/Wednesday31

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Melissa Groo Save the Elephants News Service Researcher For further information on elephants please see Save the Elephants’ web site at http://www.savetheelephants.org

Zambia: Namugala chides ‘immoral’ NGOs

via Melissa Groo – Save the Elephants

Zambia: Namugala chides ‘immoral’ NGOs

Zambia Daily Mail
April 1, 2010

TOURISM, Environment and Natural Resources Minister Catherine Namugala has said it is immoral for some non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and other countries to reject Zambia’s proposal to downlist its elephant population for the purpose of trade.

Ms Namugala castigated the NGOs and other countries which campaigned against Zambia’s proposal, saying they had no moral right to oppose a proposal which came from a sovereign state.

Speaking in Lusaka yesterday during the media briefing on the outcome of CITES, Ms Namugala said some NGOs which had never been to Zambia and knew less about the country opposed the proposal to downlist elephant population.

The so-called African Elephant Coalition which own a small percentage of the total 430,000 elephant population on the continent campaigned aggressively with Kenya against Zambia’s proposal.

‘‘This group, which is largely supported by NGOs, was collecting money from emotional old men and women. What moral right do these organisations have to decide for us that elephants should continue terrorising villagers in Chiawa and other parts of Zambia?’’ she asked.

Zambia’s proposal failed to reach a two-thirds majority vote, polling 57 votes in favour and 54 votes against.

The implications of the non-acceptance of Zambia’s proposal entails that the elephant population still remains on CITES appendix I listings, and international trade in raw hides, trade in live animals and ivory would not be permitted.

‘‘This group, which is largely supported by NGOs, was collecting money from emotional old men and women. What moral right do these organisations have to decide for us that elephants should continue terrorising villagers in Chiawa and other parts of Zambia?’’ she asked.
This means that funds for conservation would remain a constraint and the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) would continue the stockpile of ivory at high cost.

The communities would also continue suffering crop and other forms of damage without any real benefits accruing from elephants.

Ms Namugala, however, said the Zambian proposal received outright support from parties such as Japan, China, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region, Uganda, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and Canada as well as NGOs such as Wildlife Fund, the World Conservation Trust, Japan Federation of Ivory Arts and Crafts

Association, Safari Club International and Global Guardian Trust.
As a way forward, Ms Namugala said Zambia needed to engage the United States of America to allow import of trophy ivory from Zambian elephant population before the country could propose to increase hunting quota to 120 elephants as outlined in the proposal.

‘‘We lost our bid but we are not out. The Government will commence preparations for Zambia to make another proposal for the next Conference of Parties due in 2013,’’ Ms Namugala said.

It cost US$10,000 to hunt a single elephant. Currently, hunters are only allowed to hunt 20 elephants.

During the 15th CITES held in Qatar from March 13 to 25, 2010, Zambia lost the bid to downlist elephant population from Appendix I to Appendix II of the Convention which in pursuant to Article XV of the congress which gives Parties to the Convention the right to propose amendments to Appendix I and II for consideration by the Conference of Parties.

The major setback to the Zambian proposal was the opposition from Kenya which counter-lobbied for the ban on trade in ivory.

Zambia’s proposal involved trade in hunting trophies for non-commercial purposes as well as trade in live animals to appropriate and acceptable destinations.

Other proposals the country had made involved trade in raw hides and trade in the registered 21.6 tonnes of Government-owned stockpile of raw ivory which is safety stored at Chilanga.

Tourism Council of Zambia (TCZ) chairperson Mark O’Donnell, who was present during the briefing, said it was disturbing that some people rejected Zambia’s proposal when they did not offer alternatives to support the country’s development agenda.

Article at the following link:

http://www.lusakatimes.com/?p=25098

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Melissa Groo
Save the Elephants News Service Researcher
For further information on elephants please see Save the Elephants’ web site
at http://www.savetheelephants.org