Chad, DRC join in call for global ban on ivory

Ele­phants have de­clined cat­a­stroph­i­cally over the decade

The Star (Kenya) - - News - GIL­BERT KOECH @KoechJu­nior_1

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.

/ FILE

En­vi­ron­ment CS Judi Wakhungu poses next to re­cov­ered ele­phant tusks at the KWS head­quar­ters on July 21, 2015

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