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Born Free back CITES decision to end plans for future ivory trade | Coastweek

A keystone species on which many plants and animals indirectly depend, elephants are found in forests, maintaining tracks through the otherwise impenetrable undergrowth and dispersing seeds, while also being the epitome of the African savannah. However, they are in peril, threatened by the ivory trade and conflict with humans these iconic mammals need our help. The 'Disappearing Animals' campaign, created by WCRS, aims to prompt people to take action before it’s too late. Shot by award-winning photographer George Logan – in locations in The Masai Mara, Kenya, Etosha, Namibia and at Shamwari, South Africa – the campaign draws attention to the futility of saving the last lion, rhino or elephant on Earth. Instead, action needs to be taken to start saving the animals now, while there is still time to make a difference. PHOTO - GEORGE LOGAN - BORN FREE FOUNDATION

Born Free back CITES decision to end plans for future ivory trade

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa -- International wildlife charity, Born Free Foundation, has welcomed the decision by delegates at the 17th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), to end a decade-long discussion about the establishment of future trade in ivory.

The final vote taken yesterday at CITES - which is taking place in Johannesburg, South Africa, until 5th October - saw 20 Parties vote in favour of continuing with talks while 76 voted against.

There were also 13 absentions.

Will Travers OBE, President and CEO of Born Free Foundation and President of the Species Survival Network, who is attending CITES, said:

"The decision by CITES to end these long, inappropriate and dangerous discussions about a future trade in ivory is long overdue and much to be welcomed.

"Of course, we must be steadfast as it still has to be ratified in the final plenary session of this meeting which takes place next week but, if it holds, then it is good news for elephants and bad news for poachers and ivory smugglers.

"It is one more step taken at this crucial CITES conference and I am delighted that the UK played a positive role, along with EU colleagues, in supporting the view of the majority of African elephant range states."

The most up-to-date survey of savannah elephants, ‘The Great Elephant Census’, published earlier this month, revealed there are now less than 400,000 savannah elephants, and that their numbers have plummeted by 30 per cent over the past seven years.

Travers continued:

"Had the Parties to CITES decided to continue with talks about what a future ivory trade would look like, it would have almost inevitably stimulated poaching, given comfort to the criminal syndicates behind much of the poaching, and been totally out of step with global public opinion which seeks an end to the ivory trade."

Born Free has been campaigning for more than 30 years to stop the illicit trade in ivory and to protect and conserve Africa’s elephants.

For more information on the ivory trade see www.bloodyivory.org.

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BORN FREE FOUNDATION
is a dynamic international wildlife charity, devoted to compassionate conservation and animal welfare.

Born Free takes action worldwide to protect threatened species and stop individual animal suffering.

Born Free believes wildlife belongs in the wild and works to phase-out zoos.

We rescue animals from lives of misery in tiny cages and give them lifetime care.

Born Free protects lions, elephants, tigers, gorillas, wolves, polar bears, dolphins, marine turtles and many more species in their natural habitat, working with local communities to help people and wildlife live together without conflict.

Our high-profile campaigns change public attitudes, persuade decision-makers and get results.

Every year, Born Free helps hundreds of thousands of animals worldwide.

For more information about Born Free please visit: www.bornfree.org.uk
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EARLIER REPORTS:

CITES rejects Namibian proposal to ban discussion
on regulating domestic ivory markets

JOHANNESBURG South Africa (Xinhua) -- An international panel on wildlife on Monday voted against Namibia’s proposal to drop the discussion about the regulation of domestic markets of African elephants.

Fifty-seven parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) voted against the Namibia proposal, which was submitted to the 17th Conference of the Parties (COP) to the CITES taking place in Johannesburg.

Namibia’s proposal seeks to remove all CITES restrictions on regular and commercial trade in both government-owned and privately-owned ivory from Namibia and to remove all CITES restrictions on international commercial trade in live elephants from Namibia.

The rejection of the Namibian proposal was welcomed by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW). Grace Gabriel, IFAW regional director for Asia, said she was excited to participate in the working group and to present evidence that closures of domestic ivory markets work.

She said IFAW has evidence demonstrating the positive impact of closing domestic ivory markets.

In 2011, elephant ivory and rhino horn were coveted as an investment vehicle in certain countries, pushing their price to an all-time high. Ivory sales volumes in the auction market reached 95 million U.S. dollars, a 170 percent increase from 2010.

Steven Broad, executive director of Traffic, a wildlife trade monitoring network, told Xinhua that they are concerned about the trafficking of wildlife species from Africa to Asia. He said they are against the blanket ban on the trade in general.

Broad said, "This was a procedural vote and the domestic trade is still open in the working group. Namibia wanted a precedent. We prefer to target specific markets which have been identified as a problem country than a general ban on domestic markets."

Meanwhile, Malawi and Mozambique joined Botswana and Angola in calling for closure of domestic ivory markets.

Namibia has about 22,711 elephants. Since 2011, over 230 elephants have been illegally killed in Namibia and 37 this year. The country has sold 32 live animals, 690 tusks, 11,255 kgs of tusks and 387 trophies between 2008 and 2014.
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Namibia against blanket ban on ivory market

WINDHOEK Namibia (Xinhua) -- The Namibian government said it did not support the motion to close ivory markets as it is a national sovereign right for a country to decided what to do with its natural resources.

Briefing the media in Windhoek Monday, environment minister Pohamba Shifeta said they would rather have the ivory market regulated.

Thus Namibia would not support the proposed blanket ban on ivory market during the upcoming 17th session of Conference of the Parties to the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES) scheduled to be held from Sept. 24 to Oct. 5 in Johannesburg, South Africa, he said.

"We have the interests of rural communities at heart, with elephants being one of the most important and valuable assets," Shifeta said.

Namibia, Shifeta said, has been consistent over the years on CITES issues as laid down in the Constitution on how to use wildlife resources sustainably to the benefit of all people.

"We have a good record of effectively implementing CITES and our wildlife populations are thriving. We also have one of the best examples in the world of community-based conservation and there is even more wildlife on State land," he said.

Shifeta said while Namibia is currently not conducting any ivory trade, it can offer some solutions to pressing problems including the financing of conservation.
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.FURTHER READING:

Elephants are in peril, threatened by the world wide ivory trade

             

 

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