For use of the media
not an official document.
African range States agree a
restricted ivory trade
from four southern African countries
Chile, 2 November 2002 – The African elephant range States
have reached a consensus on permitting a strictly regulated form
of raw ivory trade from Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe.
Kenya was not able to join the consensus.
The range States met here from 29 to 31 October in an effort
to build an African consensus regarding ivory trade controls in
advance of a major meeting of the Convention on International
Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). The
final decision will be made by the 160 member States of CITES
during this meeting, which runs from 3 to 15 November.
The African elephant range States Dialogue reviewed proposals
from Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe for one-off
sales of existing legal ivory stocks to be followed later by annual
quotas. The income from these sales would be used to finance elephant
conservation programmes and to benefit local communities.
Kenya and India have submitted a proposal to CITES for a continuation
of the ban on ivory trade. Kenya has expressed concerns about
illegal killing of elephants and illegal ivory trade and noted
that two monitoring systems for tracking such activities are not
yet fully operational.
As a result of the discussions, Botswana, Namibia, South Africa
and Zimbabwe have agreed to amend their proposals and to subject
the future export of a total stock of 70 tonnes of raw ivory to
a series of very strict conditions. Their proposals for subsequent
annual export quotas have also been modified so that such quotas
would be established only after the monitoring systems provide
feedback and they have been authorized at a meeting of the African
elephant range States.
Note to journalists:
from the Dialogue meeting will be available in English, French
and Spanish tomorrow and posted at www.cites.org. A press
kit describing the ivory proposals in greater detail as well
the full proposals themselves
is also posted on the CITES website. For more information, please
contact Juan Carlos Vasquez in Santiago at +56-2-6395317, +56-9-443
40 45 (cell), +56-2-6395680 (fax), or email@example.com.
The opening ceremony will start at 15h00 on 3 November 2002 at
the Centro de Convenciones Diego Portales, Santiago, Chile.
Press accreditation is now open. For more information and to
submit the on-line form, see www.cites.org. Press working facilities
will be available at the conference, and a large number of press
conferences will be organized by governments and organizations
during the meeting.
To read previous press releases, go to Archives.