The current ‘African Elephant Summit’ is a farce

2015-03-27 05:54

The ‘Africa Elephant Summit’, held this week in Kasane, Botswana, is a farce.  One time respected international wildlife organisations have made statements that have no basis in fact or scientific principle.  Their collective objective, however, is clear:  To present to the world a statement of solidarity by a group of self-styled ‘experts’ in the field of elephants and their ‘conservation’.  They transparently wish to prepare the world for a universal protocol that will lead to the total protection of elephants everywhere; and the total prohibition of trade in elephant products.

And that, in my opinion, is NOT in the best interests of the elephant or mankind!

Organisations - like the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) - a United Nations supported coterie that once led the world in promoting the vital necessity for mankind to utilize the world’s living resources in a sustainable manner - have now opened their membership doors to people and organisations of all persuasions. IFAW (The International Fund for Animal WELFARE) - which is the biggest animal RIGHTS organisation in the world - is now a very active member of the IUCN. And there are other IUCN members of the same ilk!

There are two kinds of people involved with the so-called ‘elephant crisis’ in Africa:  (1). Those who believe in the sustainable utilisation of wild animals (including elephants) for the benefit of mankind; and (2) The animal rightists whose purpose in life is to ABOLISH ALL animal ‘uses’ by man (both domesticated and wild).

A relevant business management principle tells us that an organisation will fail if it harbours members who do not work individually, and collectively as a unified team, towards achieving the organisation’s goals.  It is abundantly clear (from the above) that the ‘mission statements’ of the IUCN, WWF and CITES, and the ‘mission statements’ of the animal rightist NGOs, are as diametrically opposed as any two forces can possible be.  So, I pose the question: ‘Why have they teamed up?’

CITES - an organisation created to REGULATE the legal international wildlife trade; and to stamp out the illegal wildlife trade - is now being led by the nose by its accredited animal rightist NGOs (who oppose wildlife trade).

Marco Pani, a former member of the CITES secretariat, recently made this statement:

          “CITES is a treaty to regulate international trade in wildlife; but from regulation, now we have a

          trend in recent years, that is going into prohibition.  And this is not really helping some African

          countries which are very much devoting their efforts into proper management of elephants.

          “The recent trend in the international arena has been mainly based on law enforcement and a

          reduction in the supply of ivory (as a commodity into the wildlife trade), world-wide.

          “But at a certain point the convention has lost part of its mandate - which was (originally) the

          proper regulation of true sustainable (wildlife) utilization.

          “(At CITES) the word ‘utilization’ has, unfortunately, almost disappeared.”

CITES, in fact, is the now biggest weapon in the animal rightists’ arsenal - and it is all about MONEY.  The animals are mere pawns in this the biggest confidence industry the world has ever known.

It is ironic that the ‘Africa Elephant Summit’ is being held in Kasane, Botswana, where everybody -including the Botswana spokesperson - is projecting the idea that elephants are in serious decline everywhere (WHICH IS NOT TRUE); and that the elephant, very soon, will be rendered extinct (NOT TRUE EITHER) - UNLESS every single elephant alive is protected from the ‘nefarious’ activities of man.

In 2005 the elephant population in Botswana stood at an estimated 155 000.  By 2013 it had grown to 207 000 - and they had eaten all lesser game species out of house and home.  That same year, Botswana’s other wild animal species had declined by, on average, 60 percent; some by more than 90 percent (because there were too many elephants).

The problem, therefore, is NOT that there are too few elephants in Africa - although many populations have been heavily poached north of the Zambezi - but rather there are too few countries in Africa carrying out honest science-based elephant management practices.

I, for one, no longer believe in the IUCN, WWF or CITES. They are now serious fellow travellers of the animal rights brigade.  I, therefore, consider ALL their opinions suspect.  They don’t even know, for example, that you cannot manage a species at the species level.  You can only manage wild animals population by population.  So the holistic figures the ‘Africa Elephant Summit’ is throwing at us out of Kasane, are totally meaningless in ‘wildlife management’ terms.

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