Chad, DRC join in call for global ban on ivory
Elephants have declined catastrophically over the decade
Kenya has persuaded Chad and the Democratic Republic of Congo to support its call for a global ban on ivory trade.
During the 17th session of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species in Johannesburg, South Africa, Environment CS Judi Wakhungu said the decline in elephant numbers is catastrophic.
On September 26, Wakhungu met environment ministers from the DRC and Chad on the sidelines to discuss the decline of African elephants.
“African elephants across the continent have declined catastrophically over the decade due to poaching and illegal trade in ivory. The escalation in poaching and ivory trade has regrettably occurred under the current CITES rules which lowered protection for elephants,” the ministers said in a joint statement.
Statistics show more than 100,000 elephants have been killed by poachers between 2010 and 2012 with 24,000 being killed in Eastern Africa, 42,000 in Central Africa and 41,000 in South Africa.
The elephant population in Kenya in the early 1970s was about 167,000. It has plummeted to about 35,000. Kenya wants all African elephants listed in CITES Appendix I, domestic ivory markets closed and an enhanced management of ivory stockpiles including where possible, their destruction.
Kenya has already succeeded to have pangolins moved from appendix II to I, making trade illegal.
Namibia and Zimbabwe have petitioned CITES to exempt their elephants from the ivory trade ban on grounds that their populations are thriving.
The two countries, and South Africa, say proceeds from legal ivory stocks will generate income for conservation and anti-poaching efforts.
Kenya, DRC and Chad agreed strong measures need to be taken to stop demand for ivory and eliminate expectations of a legal market for it.
Environment CS Judi Wakhungu poses next to recovered elephant tusks at the KWS headquarters on July 21, 2015