Zim appeals to EU over ivory stockpiles

Capitalk Reporter/The Herald |  1 month ago | local

Zimbabwe is appealing to the European Union to assist in having the unilateral ban on ivory

and rhino horn trade imposed by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered

Species (CITES) lifted.

Speaking to some European ambassadors who toured the ZimParks ivory stockpile yesterday,

ZimParks Director-General, Dr. Fulton Mangwanya said unlocking the value of the stockpile

will enable the implementation of the National Elephant Management Plan which covers the

conservation measures and initiatives aimed at enhancing the protection of elephants inside

protected areas, where approximately 90 percent of the population is found and also in

Communal Areas Management Programme for Indigenous Resources (CAMPFIRE) areas

where the remainder roams wild and free.

Dr. Fulton Mangwanya made an impassioned plea on the need to have the CITES ban lifted.

He said the desire is for Zimbabwe to remain a shining example of successful and sustainable

elephant conservation in the whole world.

Speaking on behalf of the delegation, the Ambassador of Switzerland to Zimbabwe, Zambia,

and Malawi, Mr. Niculin Jager, said the country has a rich biodiversity and they were keen to

continue providing support for the conservation of it.

Mr. Niculin Jager said the conservation and prevention of illegal wildlife trade is an

international issue because of the involvement of criminal syndicates in illegal wildlife trade

hence there is a need to strengthen international cooperation.

The country is sitting on more than 136 tonnes of ivory and rhino horns worth over US$600

million, which ironically, Zimbabwe is spending resources protecting 24/7 without unlocking

any value. If the ivory and rhino horn stockpiles are to be sold, the money generated could be

used to support sustainable wildlife conservation for 20 years.