The Waiting Goes On

Dear Friends, 

It’s been a long time coming and it ain’t over yet.

With just 48 hours left of the 14th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties, elephants are now at the forefront of everyone’s minds. Late night meetings, whispers in quiet corners, proposal and counter-proposal.

The original documents submitted by Namibia and Botswana, Botswana on its own and Kenya with Mali are now overshadowed by a huge new proposal from the EU which, in effect, would shorten the moratorium or ‘resting period’ as proposed by Kenya and Mali from 20 years to 9 years and approve massive ivory sales of well over 100 tonnes, in addition to the 60 tonnes now permitted following confirmation by the Standing Committee on 2nd June.

There was even a suggestion that Tanzania and Zambia – countries with no current proposals to allow for ivory trade – be allowed to trade in ivory during the moratorium!

To use the expression ‘coach and horses’ is simply inadequate.  If the EU proposal passes unamended it’s the end of the ivory trade ban as we know it and I believe that elephants will face a very uncertain future across much of Africa and Asia.

What is the EU doing? Why is it failing to listen to the majority of African range States who say no to trade? Why is it introducing proposals that are so dangerous to elephants? Why is it seeming to so blatantly favour the pro-trade agenda of Southern Africa, a region in which some, relatively speaking, of the wealthiest countries are found?

It seems perverse!

We are about to go back into the afternoon session – has the elephants’ time come?


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