Botswana’s Masisi blasts CITES for continued ban on ivory trade

APA-Gaborone (Botswana)

Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi has fired a broadside at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) over its decision to reject his country’s proposal to resume trade in ivory.

Delivering his State of the Nation in parliament late Monday, Masisi said the CITES 18th Conference of Parties (COP 18) held in Geneva, Switzerland in August rejected a proposal to allow controlled trade in ivory that was submitted by Botswana and her southern African neighbours Namibia and Zimbabwe.

He said the proposal, jointly submitted by Botswana and other elephant range states whose animal populations are on CITES Appendix II, had sought permission to resume trade in ivory.

The proposal was rejected by COP18.

“The failure by the international community to recognise that elephant conservation and management comes at great cost in terms of impacts on community livelihoods and protection of elephants from poaching has the potential to undermine the sterling conservation efforts by the southern African region,” said Masisi.

On a related matter, Masisi said following the decision to re-instate hunting in April 2019, the Botswana government is currently working on developing guidelines to provide direction on hunting.

“Citizen hunting resumed in 2019 and it is anticipated that the same will be extended to community trust areas and concessions in April 2020.

“In preparation for community hunting, quotas will be issued by December 2019 to allow for marketing ahead of the 2020 hunting season,” said Masisi.


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