Doha, Qatar — Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) today confirmed votes earlier this week to maintain strong international protection for African elephants in Tanzania and Zambia. This in the face of fierce lobbying to commercialize ivory once again.
Speaking from inside the Sheraton Conference Centre where the vote took place minutes ago, Will Travers, CEO of the UK-based Born Free Foundation and President of the Species Survival Network, applauded the result: “Today, CITES acted in the best interest of conservation and used the best scientific data available to it to make its decisions — not emotional arguments by vested interests. Confirming the commercial trade ban on elephant parts and products from Tanzania and Zambia will help ensure that the future of elephants across dozens of range States will not be jeopardized by increased trade.”
Travers continued: “In the face of overwhelming evidence of high levels of elephant poaching, massive international ivory smuggling, the involvement of organized crime syndicates, and the high price ivory can fetch in the global marketplace, CITES Parties had no choice but to reject the proposals to downgrade elephant protection.”
Adam M. Roberts
Executive Vice President
Born Free USA
PO Box 32160
Washington, DC 20007