KENYA LED COALITION SET TO FIGHT IVORY TRADE PROPOSALS AT CITES COP18
(Posted 18th August 2019)
Kenya’s delegation at the CITES COP18 meeting in Geneva will be spearheading the anti trade coalition which has been building up steadily over the past years, set to oppose proposals from Southern African countries which want to restart ivory trade and trade in other wildlife products.
The Cabinet Secretary for Tourism and Wildlife, Hon. Najib Balala, ahead of his departure to Geneva said: “All legal ivory markets – whether in Asia or Europe or anywhere else in the world – fuel illegal trade, poaching and killing of elephants”, affirming Kenya’s and the coalition’s stand that no trde must be allowed unless poaching resumes on industrial scales as it was a few years ago in Tanzania when the then government stood by almost idly as tens of thousands of elephants were mowed down.
Balala continued to state that: “We must urge the few countries in Asia and Europe to appreciate that only elephants should wear ivory and rhino horn has no medicinal value”
Kenya submitted eight proposals to CITES including raising the level of protection for giraffes and together with coalition members want elephants to be moved to Appendix 1 of the CITES Convention which, if ratified, would grant absolute protection to the species.
In contrast have five Southern African countries, including Zambia, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Angola and Botswana reiterated their demands that ivory trade must be allowed again, so that they can sell their stocks – unlike Kenya which a few years ago burned over 100 tons of ivory and over a ton of rhino horns to make a public 100 million US Dollar statement about the country’s conservation policy.
The recent wildlife summit in Kasane brought together mainly supporters of the lifting of the trade ban and subsequently had a predictable outcome, with the script already written and bound before the summit had even started.
The CITES COP18 meeting is now ongoing in Geneva and as and when updates are available will ATCNews report about it.