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
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
"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
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.
"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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Elephants are in peril, threatened by the world wide