Tanzania Withdraws Proposal to Downlist Elephants

Earlier this year Tanzania applied to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) for permission to hold a one-off sale of 101 tonnes of stockpiled ivory and to reduce protection for its elephant population.

The African country intended to seek approval for trade in hunting trophies for non-commercial purposes, trade in registered raw ivory (whole tusks and pieces), trade in raw hides including feet, ears and tails, and trade in live animals. It is reported that the sale of stockpiled ivory was to be for China and Japan.

The downgrade of Tanzania’s elephants from Appendix I to Appendix II would have meant that they would no longer be listed as a species that are the most endangered according to CITES, and the ban on international trade in these specimens would have been lifted.

Photo © Steve Garvie

London-based Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) called the proposal ‘ludicrous’. In 2012 EIA conducted an undercover investigation in Tanzania and reported a ‘flourishing trade in illegal ivory at both domestic and international levels, exacerbated by poor enforcement and facilitated by official corruption.’ EIA also pointed the finger at CITES with Executive Director and Elephant Campaign head Mary Rice claiming that ‘the very system CITES uses to permit so-called ‘one-off’ auctions is profoundly flawed and, we believe, a major driver of poaching and the illegal international trade in ivory.’

However, there seems to be hope in this dark history of elephant poaching with Tanzania’s seemingly progressive decision several days ago to withdraw her proposal to CITES. The decision has been applauded by neighbouring country Kenya with a statement from Patrick Omondi, who is one of the key members of the Kenyan delegation to CITES and Head of Species Conservation and Management at the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS)

[quote]This withdrawal is a strong message to the world that although Tanzania needs funds to manage her elephants, she is doing what is in the best interest of elephants across the continent. We welcome this decision and also applaud theChinese Embassy in Dar es Salaam for her recent commitment to support Tanzania’s anti-poaching efforts.[/quote]

Tanzania’s decision to withdraw the proposal comes after other positive statements including a commitment from the American government to help Tanzania in fighting poaching incidences through logistical and technical support. Tanzania’s Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Mr. Khamis Kagasheki, requested support on a visit to Washington for intelligence surveillance devices and skills as well as new approaches and strategies to tackle the existing organized poaching crimes.

Further good news includes Kenya’s proposal to extend the 9 year moratorium on ivory trade to all range states. It is currently restricted to four southern African countries. The Kenya Elephant Forum released this statement:
[quote]We urge the parties to CITES to support the Kenya/Mali proposal for extending the 9 year moratorium on ivory trade to all range states. This will prevent any elephant range state from requesting trade in ivory until 2018 and will provide a much needed breathing space for theauthorities to crush the poaching and ivory trafficking cartels, and allow African and Asian elephant populations to recover.[/quote]
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I’m Holly - born and raised in the rural British Counties, my mother began life on a sugar farm in Zululand. After reading Anthropology at university in London, working for a political activist filmmaker in India, and doing a short stint under the bright lights of Bollywood – I decided it was time to return to the motherland. To earn a crust in the name of wanderlust, I finished up a post grad in media and hotfooted around South Africa as a freelance travel journalist.

  • http://twitter.com/SimonEspley Simon Espley

    Great news!

  • OLD YETI

    wonderful – great – keep on

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1251135116 Marilyn Coussoule

    Ivory carving should become a thing of the past, much like Mayan custom of ripping out the living hearts of people to offer their God. Ban it now, and leave it with the rest of our ancient rituals and misguided enterprises, buried in the dungheap of mankinds obvious crimes against nature, a historical archived behaviour, never to be practiced again.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Lobs.Kritz Lorraine Clelland

    YAY!!

  • http://twitter.com/PaulShipway Paul Shipway

    This is great news.

  • Veronica

    Well done Tanzania…. hands off off the tusks.

  • World Great Safari Tour

    WORLD GREAT
    SAFARI TOUR 2014

    Tanzania accorded to host World Great
    Safari & Tour 2013/2014. World Great Safari & Tour Organizing committee in collaboration with Africa Tourism Promotion Center , have accorded Tanzania to host world’s 1st Ever Great Safari and Tour aiming at Promotion and campaigning for Ant Poaching, Tourism and at large Wildlife and Environment Protections. According to regulations, Host Country deserves right of Branding the World Great Safari and Tour against Host Country Name. This means The 2013/2014 World Great Safari & Tour, is re branded as TANZANIA – WORLD GREAT SAFARI & TOUR 2013/2014. The event calendar will be announced soon, during official launch set for January 2014. Register now to participate in The “Tanzania” – World Great safari & Tour 2014. Contact us at mistourismlimited@gmail.com .World Great Safari Tour (WGST) is a heavy media – led event which will generate huge media interest in the visit and set the tone for the possibility of a Fantastic Filming and Photo shooting right in the heart of Tourist and Cultural Attractions, Game Reserves, Cultural sites, Streets etc. This is A Rumble – in – the Jungle-Style Type of Event which will showcase the Great Natural Tourism, Culture, Environments and Wildlife Potentials of Host Country. And growth of Wildlife Protections, Domestic Tourism, Conference Tourism, Cultural Tourism , Environmental Tourism, Sports Tourism and Area Conservations Campaigns. The Event will Promote Community Visions and their Power of Behaviour Change, with Huge Electronic and Prints Media Publicity, Advertisements and Promotions. Is Glitz and Glamorous events aims at promotions and campaigning for Ant Poaching, Tourism, and Environments; An immense Tourist Sites and Cultural Monuments; Tourism awareness among people of the Nations; General knowledge of “Stop Poaching, Protect Wildlife and Environments- Tourism is Life, Culture is Living” the Event slogan; Unifying both community groups, setting tone to assess the relevance, the seriousness and the strategic positioning for tourism promotion as Oneness goal. To Use the Event as Fulcrum the Plank to Attract, Enhanced Footsteps and Trigger a widening social contact; Perform social activities aiming at Fighting against Risk
    behaviours vulnerably to Wildlife, Environments and Tourism. To Unify Community and Get those on the fore line protesting to local primitive culture risking Tourism, while raising their oneness voice of their own positive visions. To Showcase and promote the majestic and magnificent tourists’ destinations of host Country, Stimulate growth and development in Host Country tourism Industry as per World Tourism Approach Policy Agenda. It is an opportunity for Bridging Gaps between Rich and Poor, Creating Harmony, Tranquility and Human understanding.

  • Rita Skajewska

    Jestem za surowa kara dla handlarzy koscia sloniowa.

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