A few months ago, when Tanzania started to be more active and vocal about poaching, the Elephant Action League warned that it was just a well organized strategy, to please CITES and the international community in order to get the authorization to sell the country’s huge ivory stockpile.
We were right.
After it failed early this year, Tanzania is now lobbying once again to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) Secretariat to allow the country to sale its 137 tons ivory stockpile, worth over US$ 80 million, and stored in a tight security Ivory Room in Dar es Salaam. They want to cash in. They say the money will go to conservation and elephant protection. We all know where the money will go.
Not to mention the boost that the sale would give to the legal ivory market in China and the opportunity that would offer international traffickers to launder tons of illegal ivory from all over Africa.
We urge CITES to not even start this conversation with Tanzania.
The only way to stop the killing and to save the world’s elephants for future generations is an immediate, comprehensive, and indefinite ban on international and domestic ivory trade.
One-off sales, monitoring poaching, reporting requirements, missions to inspect schemes to regulate ivory markets – none of it has worked to end the slaughter of these African giants.
Real will to fight corruption, better coordination and management will help to fight poaching, not greed.
Picture: Tanzanian Minister of Natural Resources and Tourism, Khamisi Kagasheki