4 days to go before Conference begins

Dear Friends 

Four days to go until the start of the Conference proper and African delegates are meeting in closed session as part of the African Elephant Range States Dialogue meeting.  Various non-government organisations hover nervously around the building but they can’t get in.  We are all desperate to know what the African delegates think about the proposals from Botswana and Namibia to open up the ivory trade and what they think of the proposal from Kenya and Mali to prevent any further trade for at least twenty years – its nail biting stuff. 

I have been involved in elephant issues since the late 1980s.  In fact I saw my first poached elephant in 1974 and I showed my son his first poached elephant just a few years ago.  It’s a memory that stays with you and it’s been part of my inspiration to try and prevent further slaughter ever since.  It seems strange that here in The Hague, one of Europe’s more traditional cities and, seemingly, a million miles from the forests and plains of Africa, decisions will be taken that will either hopefully prevent an escalation in the slaughter of elephants or could do exactly the opposite.  May be later today someone will tell us what the African delegates have been talking about but they go back into the huddle again tomorrow – we will just have to be patient.

More tomorrow.

Will

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