GABORONE, Sept. 20 (Xinhua) — Botswana opposes attempts to remove option of sustainably utilizing wildlife, a senior official in Botswana’s ministry of environment, natural resources conversation and tourism said Friday.
Botswana will continue to oppose attempts to end the capture and export of live wild African elephants for amusement parks, said Thato Raphaka, permanent secretary in the ministry of environment, natural resources conversation and tourism.
In a historic vote last month, the 18th Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) conference voted to end the capture and export of live wild African elephants from Botswana, Zimbabwe, South Africa and Namibia for amusement parks.
Zimbabwe is currently the main exporter of wild African elephants, having exported at least 108 baby jumbos to zoos since 2012, available information suggests.
“We stand with Zimbabwe and other countries who do so (capturing and export of wild African elephants) and will continue to oppose attempts to remove this option of sustainably utilizing wildlife,” said Raphaka.
As long as other countries do capture and export wild African elephants in line with the annotations attached to the listings of their species under CITES Appendix II provided the facilities they are meant to send to meet the required standards in terms of animal welfare, Raphaka said, those countries will be supported.
Last month, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Namibia had put forth a proposal at CITES to get permission to sell their ivory stockpiles but were denied authority.