SADC continues to regulate sustainable ivory trade

30 Sep 2016 15:00pm
WINDHOEK, 30 SEP (NAMPA) - The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Region will continue to develop new approaches to regulate sustainable trade in ivory.
The SADC Secretariat made the pledge in a media statement issued on Monday on the sideline of the 17th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP17) to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). The meeting commenced on Saturday in Johannesburg, South Africa.
“This approach will be for the benefit of conservation of the species and the socio-economic development of local communities who remain critical in the quest to conserve the African elephant for future generations,” it noted.
The secretariat said Namibia, Zimbabwe and South Africa submitted to COP17 a proposal in the absence of a Decision Making Mechanism (DMM) standing committee to come up with a clear DMM guide. South Africa also submitted a proposal of its own version of the DMM, which was specific, implementable and fair.
“This proposal was not supported by the COP, which clearly indicated to SADC members that there had not been a genuine intention to develop the DMM on the part of some parties. Therefore, the nine-year protracted discussion is seen to have come at the expense of the sovereign rights of the SADC range states to sustainably utilise a significant natural resource,” it said.
Meanwhile, Botswana participated in the voting process and voted for motion 007, which seeks to ensure closure of domestic markets for elephant ivory.
“Botswana’s position regarding the closure of domestic markets for elephant ivory is very clear. Botswana has been working towards the very goal of the reduction and closure of markets for elephant ivory as well as rhino horn. Irrespective of whatever error, whether technical or human that might have occurred, Botswana would like to make known its position and reiterate its support for motion 007,” the Botswana Government said on its Facebook page.
The meeting ends 05 October 2016.