April 14, 2005

Government prepares to sell ivory

Namibia is not giving up on its hope of trading in ivory as a means to gain from its natural resources. Namibia had lost a Cites bid to trade in ivory in 2004, amidst fierce lobbying from Kenya and international conservation groups who fear that it would open the door to poaching and illegal trade. The Director of Scientific Services in the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, Pauline Lindeque, told the Wildlife Society that Namibia only intended to sell raw ivory from elephants that had died of natural causes. According to her, the move would definitely not lead to increased hunting for the purpose of obtaining the ivory. Depending on the quality, Namibia could earn a minimum of U$100 for a kilogramme of raw ivory at current market prices. Namibia's carrying capacity for elephant is around 20.000.
Botswana, from which many elephants pass through Namibia each year en route to Angola, has an elephant population as high as 120.000. (The Namibian, Windhoek)

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