Tanzania conservation news – Minister uses Lusaka Agreement forum to lobby for ivory sales

In a misguided but not entirely unexpected turn of events did host country Tanzania use the presence of experts in Dar es Salaam, discussing issues under the Lusaka Agreement on protection of wildlife, to lobby for permission to be given at the next global CITES meeting for a sale of ivory stocks. While paying lip service to the ideals of the Lusaka Agreement during the opening session of the 10th Governing Council Meeting, controversial minister Maige was equally swift and more reportedly more vocal to propose seeking permission to sell ivory stocks, something which did not go down well with other delegates who felt such utterances were out of place in a meeting which was convened to discuss conservation measures, the harmonization of policies and the enactment of stronger laws and regulations to curb rampant poaching.
Tanzania had jointly with Zambia attempted to get formal approval for a sale of legal ivory stocks but was defeated in a general assembly vote, only to promptly vow to bring a new application to the next meeting in 2013. Kenya in contrast has recently burned several tons of ivory in an act of defiance towards poaching and the illegal trade in blood ivory but was subsequently mocked by the Tanzanian minister who claimed that burning ivory would not stop the trade. Watch this space for regular conservation news updates from the East African region.