Di­vided over ivory trade

Malta Independent - - WORLD -

Africa is di­vided over whether to sell the ivory of its ele­phants, whose con­ti­nent-wide pop­u­la­tion has plum­meted be­cause of poach­ing. Namibia, Zim­babwe and South Africa will ar­gue for the right to sell ivory at an in­ter­na­tional wildlife con­fer­ence that starts Satur­day in Jo­han­nes­burg. They are op­posed by about 30 African coun­tries that want to tighten an in­ter­na­tional ban on the ivory trade. China, the world’s main ivory con­sumer, says it plans to close its do­mes­tic mar­ket. The pro-trade coun­tries say their elephant pop­u­la­tions are large and that funds from ivory sales can be in­vested in con­ser­va­tion. Namibia, how­ever, says it does not ex­pect the Jo­han­nes­burg talks to go in its fa­vor. Some 3,500 del­e­gates are ex­pected for the meet­ing of the Con­ven­tion on In­ter­na­tional Trade in En­dan­gered Species, or CITES.

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