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Tanzania plans to auction 90 tonnes of ivory

Discussion in 'Jukwaa la Siasa' started by Geza Ulole, Jan 17, 2010.

  1. Geza Ulole

    Geza Ulole JF-Expert Member

    Jan 17, 2010
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    Kenyan hypocricy over sale of Tanzania's ivory stock

    • Kenya angry with CITES over sale of ivory, ‘partisan’ secretariat
    January 17 2010

    The secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) has come under fire over its handling of the row over ivory trade in the East African region.

    Kenya is blaming the secretariat for the dispute that pits it and Rwanda on one side against Tanzania on the other.

    The row arose from a petition filed by Tanzania (together with Zambia) to CITES to be allowed to sell their ivory stockpiles, a move Kenya and Rwanda are opposed to, arguing that it could precipitate a flare up in poaching of the endangered African Elephant.

    Kenya, which is part of the 21 member African Elephant Coalition, claims that the secretariat is not only not adhering strictly to the rules of CITES, but it is also taking sides in the matter.

    “It is inclined towards allowing the trade,” senior assistant director of the Kenya Wildlife Service and head of species and conservation management Patrick Omondi said.

    Under the CITES arrangement, the secretariat is responsible for protecting endangered species such as the African elephant through regulation of the sale of its trophies.

    Already, Mr Omondi said, top officials of the secretariat are issuing statements delinking the effect of the legal sale of ivory on poaching.

    He also expressed reservations with the panel of experts selected to evaluate the bid by Tanzania and Zambia to be allowed to sell their ivory.
    “Persons who want ivory trade have been chosen to sit on the panel, even after we raised our dissatisfaction,” he stated.

    According to the procedure laid down under the convention, the secretariat is required to select an independent team of experts drawn from diverse fields such as elephant biology, wildlife trade and law enforcement to consider the pros and cons of allowing such trade in countries that make applications.

    The African Elephant Coalition has written to the CITES secretariat to express its opposition to the team’s assessment. The same issues are set to be raised at the conference of parties meeting planned for March this year in Doha, Qatar.

    Kenya is also aggrieved that Tanzania did not consult it before presenting the proposal to sell its ivory, even though the two countries share elephant populations.

    Lack of a definite structure for dealing with issues relating to ivory trade by the EAC, similar to the one in the South African Development Community (SADC), has been blamed for the current state of affairs.

    SADC wildlife strategy

    Tanzania, which is also a member of SADC, ascribes to its common strategy on wildlife issues.

    Mr Omondi traces the raging row over ivory trade to the fourteenth conference of parties meeting held at The Hague, Netherlands in 2007.

    He states that the meeting’s resolutions as crafted by the CITES secretariat left room for loopholes that are presently being exploited by Tanzania and Zambia.

    During the meeting, in which Botswana, South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe were allowed to sell their ivory stocks, amounting to 108 tonnes to Japan and China; delegates resolved that after the stocks left these countries, there would be a nine-year moratorium on ivory trade.

    However, in the final document that outlined the resolutions, Mr Omondi adds, the CITES secretariat stated that the moratorium would only apply to the countries that had sold their ivory, instead of all the 37 parties.

    The nine-year ban was to allow for time to discuss human-wildlife conflict, cross border wildlife movement, wildlife translocation in a bid to build up the populations of the African elephant. It would also allow for monitoring and establishment of reasons behind illegal trade and poaching.

    The nine year moratorium was a compromise since Kenya and Mali had proposed a 20 year trade suspension.

    The 2007 sale was the second experimental trade in ivory, coming about a decade after the first ever experiment when Zimbabwe, Namibia and South Africa were allowed to sell 67 tonnes in one shipment.

    Action plan

    The Elephant Coalition is developing an action plan that will develop a mechanism for future trade.

    A meeting is planned for Brussels in January 22 to 28, by the African Elephant Coalition, to develop a strategy for sealing the loophole that arose from the meeting in The Hague.

    The countries are also reaching out to European countries for help in resolving the matter.

    Meanwhile, the coalition has reverted back to its demand for a 20 year ban on ivory trade but has pledged to withdraw it in favour of the previously agreed upon nine year period if the proposal is not presented for discussion.

    Mr Omondi defended Kenya’s tough stance on the issue of ivory trade and poaching saying that it was guided by facts on the dynamics of elephant populations.

    “Kenya has one of the best anti-poaching units in Africa that boasts of 19 light aircrafts and an effective communication system that includes a database,” he explained.

    The anti-poaching system is set to be upgraded to move from killing poachers to arresting them alive in a bid to crack the poaching syndicate. A memorandum of understanding has already been signed with the US Marines and the Israeli government.

    Kenya, which presently has the fourth largest elephant population (at 35,000) has also been a victim of poachers that saw its elephant populations drop from 167,000 in 163 to 16,000 in 1989 that was attributed to the international trade in ivory.

    Even after the two experimental sales in 1997 and 2007, there was a significant flare up of poaching.

    Mr Omondi said that, it had been wrong to allow China as one of the buyers of the ivory since it not only lacked structures for stopping ivory laundering, but its nationals have also been implicated in these illegal activities in the past.

    Kenya’s commitment to fight poaching was demonstrated in 1989, by the establishment of KWS to carry out wildlife conservation and the burning of 12 tonnes of ivory by then president Daniel Moi a year later.

    Mr Omondi said that South African countries support for ivory trade arose because they had escaped the poachers’ illegal activities when the practice was rampant on the continent.

    “Most of the South African countries were still under colonial governments and had an effective enforcement system,” he explained.

    Experts say that elephants give birth after four years, besides having a complex social life and populations take time to recover after they are killed by poachers for their ivory.

    Poaching, which is believed to be stimulated by legal sale of ivory, also results in the killing of rangers and requires huge investment to control

  2. Geza Ulole

    Geza Ulole JF-Expert Member

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    Now our neighbors are accusing the secretariat since it refused to adhere to their demands!:D they are demanding numerations from the sale of those tusks from the elephants who spent only 1/4 of their lifetime in Kenya! typical of loosers
  3. Wacha1

    Wacha1 JF-Expert Member

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    Wanataka Muungano hao then wanataka tuwaombe ruhusu. kwani Tanzania ina baba au ankal hapa duniani?
  4. The Quonquerer

    The Quonquerer JF-Expert Member

    Jan 18, 2010
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    Wanafiki wakubwa! Smatta na Nomasana, your comments please. You always chew what you can't swallow. You are too weak to bulldoze a largest country in East Africa. Your hypocrisy on Tanzania will always haunt you (Kenyans). Mwaimezea mate sana nchi hii. But we have more than elephant tusks.
  5. Invisible

    Invisible Admin Staff Member

    Jan 25, 2010
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    Jan 25, 2010

    Despite opposition from neighbours Kenya and Rwanda, the Tanzanian government said Monday it was seeking permission from the UN panel overseeing the Convention for International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) to auction 90 tonnes of ivory piled up in its storage buildings.

    Trade in ivory has been banned or restricted in many countries due to the rapid decline in elephant populations around the world.

    CITES permits sales and importation of the tusks in exceptional circumstances.

    Tanzania's Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism argues that it needs to clear stockpiles of ivory from dead elephants and use the proceeds on wildlife management projects.

    The ministry's director of wildlife, Erasmus Tarimo, said a country report on the status of its elephants would be presented to a CITES meeting in March 2010 i n order to get approval for the planned auction.

    The panel granted such permission in July 2008 for bidders from China and Japan to import 44 tonnes of ivory from Botswana, 9 tonnes from Namibia, 51 tonnes fro m South Africa, and 4 tonnes from Zimbabwe.

    According to the ministry's acting permanent secretary, Felician Kilahama, the ivory has been kept in store buildings for a long time and it will be prudent t o dispose of the stock through auction.

    Affirming that the elephant population had increased tremendously over the last decade, he said the government would assure the CITES panel that Tanzania maintained commendable measures to ensure conservation of its elephant herds.

    Kenya and Rwanda have accused Tanzania of betraying both the CITES and the East African Community spirit of consultation before planning to auction its ivory.

    But the officials argued that Tanzania was seeking the CITES green light to carr y out a one-off sale of ivory from registered government-owned stocks while it excluded ivory seized from poachers and smugglers as well as stocks of unknown origin.

    Since the worldwide ivory trade ban by CITES in 1989, there have been ups and downs in elephant populations and the ivory trade as bans have been placed and lifted.

    Some African countries, particularly Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe, insist that the ivory trade is necessary to stimulate their economies and reduce big herds t hat destroy the environment.

    Opponents of the trade claim that its legalization would endanger elephant population in many African countries where poachers are likely to launder their illegal ivory official stockpiles.
  6. Wacha1

    Wacha1 JF-Expert Member

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  7. m

    matejoo Member

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    Our Kenyan friends have missed the point here. Tanzania is a sovereign state and it has the right to decide how to use its natural resources. It also goes without saying that the elephant population has incresed tremendously in Tanzania in the past decade.

    I should also add that "militarised" conservation techniques used by Kenya in the 80's to 90's (remember Mr. Leakey's "army" of KWS "soldiers"?) is paying its dividents now. Wildlife populations have and will continue to dwindle! Tanzania is also leading the same way (albeit with meagre resources) I mean introducing militarized, mechanical, brainless and anti-human conservation practices led by TANAPA and the NCAA.

    The "mlinzi wa nchi ni mwananchi mwenyewe" philosophy of "enzi ya mwalimu" is unheard of in the conservation circles. To them kila mtu ni mwalifu as long as they live near a protected area. Brainless!
  8. Invisible

    Invisible Admin Staff Member

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    Britain to oppose sale of stockpiled ivory

    • Third 'one-off' auction will revive illegal poaching trade, say conservationists
    By Michael McCarthy, Environment Editor
    Tuesday, 26 January 2010

    Britain will vote against the proposed sale of stockpiled ivory from Tanzania and Zambia, which conservationists fear would lead to further slaughter of African elephants, the Environment Secretary Hilary Benn said last night.

    After a day in which opposition spokesmen called for an explicit statement on Britain's position, Mr Benn made it unequivocally clear that the UK would oppose the proposed sale, which will be voted on at the next meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) in Qatar in March. Should it go ahead, the Tanzania-Zambia sale, detailed in the The Independent yesterday, will be the third such "one-off" ivory auction to have taken place since the international ban on the trade was brought in 20 years ago this month to halt the catastrophic plunge in African elephant populations at the hands of ivory poachers.

    Although the ban was at first successful in halting the decline, the two sales of ivory from four southern African countries – the first in 1997, the second in 2008 – are considered by conservationists to have considerably weakened the ban by reviving a legal ivory market into which illegal, poached tusks can be laundered.

    The second sale of ivory, from South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe, is believed to have triggered a considerable revival of the illegal trade with a consequent upsurge in poaching over the past year. In several West African countries, such as Senegal, elephant populations are on the verge of extinction.

    To the dismay of conservationists, Britain did not oppose the two "one-off" ivory sales, and environmental campaigners feared that Britain would go along with the third.

    But last night Mr Benn took a clear stance against the sale, saying: "At the CITES meeting in March, the UK will vote against the proposals from Tanzania and Zambia to sell ivory stocks, and we would urge other countries to vote against such a sale."

    However, he appeared to leave the door open for possible future auctions when he added: "In 2008, the members of the CITES agreed to a single, one-off sale of legal, stockpiled ivory from countries with stable elephant populations. The sale was intended to reduce demand for illegal poached ivory.

    "The UK will not consider other sales of ivory until the effects of last-year's sale have been fully analysed." Environmental campaigners fear this means Britain will not oppose a second request at the meeting from Tanzania and Zambia that their elephant stocks be "downlisted" from the CITES's Appendix One to Appendix Two, meaning that eventually some trade in elephant products such as ivory can be resumed.

    Yesterday, both the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats called on ministers to clarify the Government's opposition to the proposed sale, which is also opposed by a number of African countries, led by Kenya and Mali, who have sent representatives to Brussels this week to lobby the European Union to oppose it.

    At a press conference in the Belgian capital yesterday, the Kenyan minister for forestry and wildlife, Dr Noah Wekesa, said: "As elephant poaching reaches heights not seen for decades and the volume of illegal ivory seized soars, the African Elephant Coalition, representing the majority of African elephant range states, is appealing to the European Union to take urgent and immediate action to prevent the further slaughter of elephants across much of Africa."