CITES makes huge strides in fight against ivory trade

Namibia, South Africa and Botswana urged Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Parties to vote for a pathway to ivory trade, which would doom elephants around the world, whose numbers have been decimated by poaching for their tusks.

It failed, rejected by a two-thirds majority including Kenya, Republic of Congo and Chad.

It was fantastic news on this third day of the CoP17 here in Johannesburg.

This builds momentum for us in the looming CITES debate on the closure of domestic ivory markets around the world.

We’ve already celebrated a procedural step toward this victory. Fifty-seven Parties to CITES already voted against a motion from Namibia claiming that the proposal to regulate domestic ivory markets is inadmissible because it is supposedly outside the scope of the Convention.

The United States’ delegation, for one, rejects that this proposed regulation is acting beyond the Convention

We should be addressing demand, the most urgent threat facing elephants through the African Elephant Action Plan (AEAP). We will continue to watch as the ivory debate moves on to phase two here in Johannesburg.


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Azzedine Downes,IFAW President and CEO
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