African, Asian states do ivory deal

2013-12-03 22:01
Elephant Thandora

Elephant Thandora

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

  • Conservation
    This text presents a multi-perspective analysis of the ethics and principles that guide... Now R1,509.00
    buy now

Gaborone - African and Asian nations on Tuesday agreed on urgent measures to tackle the illegal ivory trade, from the slaughter of elephants to the trafficking of their valuable tusks to the Far East.

The deal comes after top officials and experts from 30 states met in Botswana this week to tackle an upsurge in elephant poaching as demand for ivory soars from countries such as China and Thailand.

Countries that are home to elephants, and those where their ivory ends up, agreed to "urgent measures to halt the illegal trade and secure elephant populations across Africa," the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and Botswanan government said in a statement.

The measures include a "zero tolerance approach", which includes maximum sentences for wildlife crimes and boosting the ability of national agencies to deal with highly-organised poaching syndicates.

The meeting also agreed that ivory trafficking should be classified as a "serious crime", paving the way for international cooperation such as mutual legal assistance, asset seizure and forfeiture, and extradition.

"The summit is the first-ever meeting focusing on the dynamics of the entire ivory value chain," the statement said.

Conservation groups at the African Elephant Summit warned this week Africa could lose 20% of its elephant population within a decade.

Africa and Asia must 'join forces'

The large animals, a key tourist attraction in Africa, are increasingly hunted by criminal gangs and militias using sophisticated equipment, while high-level corruption helps move the ivory off the continent, summit organisers said.

Proceeds are in some cases used to "fund armed militias and rebel groups engaged in internal and cross border conflicts", according to the IUCN.

Six countries signed the pact but all 30 states attending the summit agreed on the measures and committed to inking the deal, Simon Stuart, chair of the IUCN Species Survival Commission, told AFP.

"We have consensus, it's good news."

Among those who agreed to the measures were key elephant nations such as Gabon, Kenya, Niger and Zambia, transit countries Vietnam, Philippines and Malaysia and ivory destination states, including China and Thailand.

These countries will strengthen co-operation between their law enforcement agencies and create mechanisms at home to "allow immediate action" against anyone involved in poaching or the illegal ivory trade.

According to a report by Cites, Traffic and IUCN, an estimated 22 000 elephants were illegally killed across the continent last year, as poaching reached "unacceptably elevated levels."

"We are very pleased with the result of the summit, especially as it involves some of the most important countries along the illegal ivory value chain," said Julia Marton-Lefevre, IUCN director general.

It was hoped that the outcomes would help boost wider efforts to tackle trade in other hard-hit species such as rhinos and pangolins, she added.

Africa's elephant population is estimated at 500 000 animals, compared with 1.2 million in 1980 and 10 million in 1900, and they are listed as vulnerable.

"Our window of opportunity to tackle the growing illegal ivory trade is closing and if we do not stem the tide, future generations will condemn our unwillingness to act," said Botswana President Ian Khama whose country holds Africa's largest elephant population.

"Now is the time for Africa and Asia to join forces to protect this universally valued and much needed species."
Researchers believe that poverty and weak governance in African countries where elephants live are driving forces behind a spike in poaching.

Elephant tusks and other body parts are prized in Asia and the Middle East for ornaments, as talismans, and for use in traditional medicine.

Ivory trade is banned under the Cites, yet the illegal trade is estimated to be worth up to $10bn a year.

The price of ivory on the black market shot up tenfold in the past decade to more than $2 000 per kg. On average, an adult elephant tusk can weigh 20kg, according to experts.


Read more on:    iucn  |  botswana  |  conservation  |  poaching
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
4 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

Anglican Church urges people to vote

The Anglican Archbishop Thabo Makgoba has called on his congregation to use their right to vote, amid a campaign to spoil ballot papers.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Thursday Sir Lowry's Pass - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
  • Thursday Cape Town - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Buitengracht Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Waterkant Street
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Curve 9360

The BlackBerry Curve 9360 smartphone comes preloaded with Blackberry OS7...

From R1595.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be good at organising events but they do take their toll on your energy levels. You may need some time out today just to...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.