Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Rise in poaching pushes CITES to vote 'no' to ivory sales

Rad more about Ivory-trade HERE!

Rise in poaching pushes CITES to vote 'no' to ivory sales
Jeremy Hance
March 22, 2010

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) has pleased conservationists with its decision to not allow the one-off sales of ivory from government stockpiles in Tanzania and Zambia given the recent rise in elephants poaching in Africa.

"It’s victory for conservationists world wide as CITES today voted no the proposal presented by Tanzania to weaken the 21-year ban on ivory sales. Many countries do not think that Tanzania can manage to sell ivory without it leading to a dramatic upsurge in elephant killings, after all, the country has been unable to control illicit trade in ivory and elephant poaching," Executive Director of WildlifeDirect Paula Kahumbu wrote in a blog on the decision.

While the ivory trade has been banned since 1989, two one-time sales have gone ahead in the past: 1999 and 2008. Many conservationists believe that these past sales led to increasing demand for ivory products—illegal or not—causing an uptick in poaching.

Last year, 25 tons of illegal ivory was confiscated from an estimated 2,500 elephants, according to TRAFFIC, a wildlife trade monitoring group. Tanzania had hoped to sell 80.5 tons of ivory and Zambia 21 tons.

The decision comes after a number of disappointments for conservationists at the CITES meeting, including striking down monitoring of the coral trade and a vote against a ban on the Critically Endangered Atlantic bluefin tuna. The latter decision caused marine biologist Jennifer Jacquet to describe it as "another failure to see fish as wildlife" in her blog Guilty Planet. She notes that less than 5 percent of the species protected by CITES are marine species.

Mystery Bat for Kenya

anyone out there who can identify this creature from Northern Kenya, very long hairs from the back toes makes it a bit odd looking, please comment!

Thursday, March 11, 2010




ATTA (African Travel and Tourism Association) released this message this week - please help by going online and signing the survey:

Tanzania said yesterday , March 6th, that it will press for permission to sell around 100 tonnes of elephant tusks to reduce its huge stockpile and use the money to combat poaching.

"Our go-down in Dar es Salaam is full and we need to dispose of some of the tusks to create space for new stock," Natural Resources and Tourism Minister Shamsa Mwangunga.

"Proceeds from the proposed sale of 100 tonnes of elephant tusks will be used to buy equipment and finance anti-poaching operations," she said, adding that around 15 billion shillings (11 million dollars) could be raised.

The Convention on International Trade on Endangered Species (CITES) will hold its 15th session of the conference of parties on March 13-25 in Doha, where Tanzania and Zambia intend to apply for permits to sell ivory stockpiles.

But Tanzania's neighbour Kenya is opposed to allowing the sale of ivory arguing that it encourages poaching.

According to the Kenya Wildlife Service poaching for elephant and rhino tusks has been on the rise in Africa since the 2007 partial lifting of an international trade ban to allow a one-off sale to China and Japan by Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe.



THE CITES DEBATE There is no time to lose! The CITES meeting is next week (starts March 13th).

"This is really the last call for elephants in Africa," says Bourama Niagate, director of parks and natural reserves in Mali. "The devastating poaching of the 1980s first controlled through CITES is now so prevalent that the African elephant is all but extinct in some countries. This is because limited legal sales were allowed in the recent past providing the perfect cover for illegal trade in poached ivory.

"If we do not let elephant populations recover over the next 20 years by stopping the trade entirely, there will be no more African elephants outside a few zoological specimens in reserves in southern parts of Africa. Europe needs to do the right thing and back our stance now because it is nearly too late."

ATTA creates a forum for its members to debate issues.

The CITES debate is a highly emotive issue with two strong opposing factions. What do you our members feel about this?

To take the ATTA survey, follow this link:


We will publish the results next week

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Tuesday, March 2, 2010