from a press briefing presented in Johannesburg by three researchers from the
South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA).
researchers argued that there is not enough incentive to conserve elephants.
conference is scheduled for September 24 to October 5 this year. South Africa,
Zimbabwe and Namibia have made a joint a proposal to have a ban on international
trade on ivory to be lifted.
a senior researcher with SAIIA, said the three countries have slim chances of
having their proposal approved by the CITES Standing Committee.
He said, “The
chances of the three countries to have the ban lifted on international trade on
ivory is next to nil.”
possible result is that there will be an agreement to have the domestic market
shut down, which might alienate these countries, according to Harvey.
there is a possibility that some might opt to leave CITES, but this is unlikely
since there are other benefits for other species other than ivory.
Namibia have also made a bid to have the elephants completely removed from the
CITES protection altogether.
A majority of
sixty-six percent is required to adopt a proposal.
On the other
hand, 29 African countries have also made a coalition to seek to end the ivory
trade altogether. The coalition is also calling for the closure of the domestic
international ban on ivory trade was introduced in 1989. The African Elephant
Coalition is calling for the destruction of existing ivory stockpile.
“Some are piling up stock waiting to hear what will CITES decide. The question
is why should you keep stock piles of ivory?”
senior researcher from SAIIA, Yu-Shan Wu, said the commitment made by the U.S.
and China in September 2015 will boost the fight against illegal trade in ivory.
Wu said it is
necessary for the people to be educated why the ban is imposed.
“Some countries in Southeast Asia worship elephants and they have a religious
significance on them.”
Wu, a South
African of Chinese descent, said China has shown commitment to fighting illegal
trade on ivory by discussing it with Africa last December during the Forum on
China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Summit.
She said some
conservation organizations have also been educating the Chinese people about the
importance against illegal trade in ivory.
Chinese celebrities have also been involved in sending messages against illegal
Botswana as a good example of using local communities to manage natural
resources like elephants.
She said they
use the natural resources for tourism and get the incentives from that.
lost over 27,000 elephants annually since 2012, according to the Elephant
will be on the agenda on the CITES conference.
proposals will be considered to reach a consensus at the end.