By APA News
Kenya on Friday called upon all African elephant range states to continue seeking solutions that will ensure the survival of African elephant for posterity.This week saw the world stand for survival of the Giraffe and the African elephant at the ongoing Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species in Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in Geneva, Switzerland.
Attempts by Southern African elephant range states at CITES on Thursday to resume international sales of ivory stockpiles were rejected by governments at the 18th Conference of the Parties (CoP18) of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).
A proposal by Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe to sell stockpiled ivory from their countries and South Africa also failed when voted on by attending delegates from the 183 country-strong forum.
Kenya sought to get protection status by listing all nine (9) Giraffe subspecies in Appendix II and all Elephants in Appendix I and preventing any downlisting of elephants or reopening of ivory trade.
“We were successful in all but the last of these endeavors thanks to overwhelming support from the 32- member African Elephant Coalition, the EU, US, group of Latin America and Caribbean states and other like-minded countries,” the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) said in a statement issued in Nairobi.
Giraffes are now listed in Appendix II to allow for trade monitoring and population status. No downlisting of elephants was allowed and no changes to allow ivory trade was allowed either.
“So, it has been a great week for the Giraffe and the African Elephant. However, the challenges remains, that is improving livelihoods, law enforcement, and closure of domestic ivory markets wherever they occur,” KWS added.
Elephants are in crisis with at least 20,000 being illegally killed each year for their ivory. On average around 55 elephants are poached every day in Africa, that’s roughly one every 26 minutes.
Recent analysis appears to show a clear correlation between the 2008 ivory stockpile sales and an increase in illegal trade and poaching – there has been an estimated increase of 71 percent in ivory smuggling out of Africa following the 2008 stockpile sales.