CITES suspends ivory trade permits

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, November 2006:
GENEVA–The Secretariat of the United Nations-administered
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species on October 5,
2006 suspended the permission granted in 2002 to allow South Africa,
Botswana, and Namibia to export elephant ivory.
South Africa was to have been permitted to sell 30 metric
tons of ivory, Botswana 20 metric tons, and Namibia 10 metric tons,
“on condition,” the U.N. News Service explained, “that the
Monitoring of Illegal Killing of Elephants (MIKE) system establish
up-to-date and comprehensive baseline data on poaching and population
levels. Today’s meeting of the CITES Standing Committee determined
that this condition has not yet been satisfied.”
Requests from these and other African nations for annual
ivory quotes were rejected by the triennial CITES Conference of
Parties in 2004.

Zimbabwe, unsuccessful in many previous attempts to win an
ivory export quota from CITES, positioned itself for another try in
July 2006 by suspending domestic ivory sales and rounding up 285
alleged poachers. The poachers were, however, charged with
unlawfully killing kudus, impalas, waterbucks, warthogs, and fish.
The Zimbabwean government-controlled Harare Herald on October
18 reported that “Two suspected poachers were arrested while 22
elephant tusks were recovered at Chizarira National Park in Gokwe,
after a group of suspected Zambian poachers killed 11 elephants. The
poachers exchanged gunfire with Zimbabwean security officers,” the
Herald said.
But Angus Shaw of Associated Press on the same day reported
from Harare about allegations of “disgruntled and underpaid rangers
profiteering on meat and illegal ivory,” and recounted a recent
incident described by the independently funded Zimbabwean
Conservation Task Force in which rangers shot five elephants. One of
the elephants was believed to have killed a safari park caretaker
near the Zambian border.

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