Will CITES fail Africa for 44th year?

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By Emmanuel Koro

Johannesburg - Divisions among African countries were signed and sealed at the Berlin Conference in 1884-1885 that partitioned Africa into colonies under different western European governments control.

The Berlin Conference regulated European colonisation and trade in Africa. Even in cases where Africans try to unite Western powers always want to divide them, in order to exploit them.

Today, Africa has never recovered from such divisions even in the area of wildlife conservation and trade in its wildlife products such as ivory and rhino horns. African countries are made to oppose one another for no good reason. Therefore, it is unsurprising that Western animal rights groups and some Western countries continue to successfully influence West, North and East African countries to oppose SADC countries’ bid to trade in ivory and rhino horn – even to hunt elephants and rhinos.

This year, SADC countries have made proposals to trade in ivory, rhino horn and hunt rhino to the UN Convention on International in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora (CITES). The final decision will be made at the CITES 18th triennial meeting that will be held in Geneva, from 17-28 August 2019.  

Sadly, a group of 10 countries (comprising nine African countries and one Arab nation) have already opposed their fellow Southern African countries’ bid to benefit from their wildlife through trade. They have incredibly suggested a counter proposal that the elephant populations of Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe be moved from Appendix II to Appendix I, effectively preventing SADC countries from using their wildlife.

These opposition countries include Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Gabon, Kenya, Liberia, Niger, Nigeria, Sudan, Togo and Syria.

 

 

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