Zambezi Times Online 2003

Cites Deadline Draws Closer

WINDHOEK, Nov 6 - Namibia is one of the 77 members of the UN Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna (Cites) with just two months to report on how they have adhered to the terms of the convention.

At the Cites meeting in Santiago, Chile, last year, Namibia, Botswana and South Africa were exempted from the ban on ivory sales with approval for a one-off sale from their stockpile in 2004.

But the meeting demanded that the three countries adopt strict measures to protect their elephants before proceeding with the sale.

Namibia was awarded a sales quota of 10 tonnes of ivory, Botswana 20 tonnes and South Africa 30 tonnes.

Dr Pauline Lindeque, the Ministry of Environment and Tourism official who deals with Cites-related issues, could not be reached for comment on whether Namibia had passed legislation towards fully implementing the convention.

Other southern African member states also on the list are Botswana, Malawi, Zambia, Tanzania and Madagascar.

Namibia was last allowed to trade in ivory in 1997.

In Santiago, Namibia said it wanted to be allowed to to sell 10 tonnes of ivory annually but that proposal was rejected.

It is estimated that Namibia has about 10 000 elephants, and that the country has 40 tonnes of ivory stockpiled.

by Absalom Shigwedha
Source: The Namibian/All Africa Global Media

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