1. April 2010

Namugala blames Kenya, NGOs for failed ivory sales bid

Tourism Minister Catherine Namugala has blamed Kenya and some NGOs for Zambia’s failed proposal to offload the ivory on the international market.
Addressing the media on the outcome of the 15th Conference of Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES) in Lusaka yesterday, Namugala said Kenya and some NGOs aggressively campaigned against Zambia’s proposal to down list elephant population from Appendix I to II.
Namugala, who expressed disappointment with Zambia’s failed bid, said even though Zambia lost, it was not out and would not give up. She said the government would commerce preparations for the country to make another proposal for the next Conference of Parties due in 2013.
Namugala said Zambia expected the international community to be supportive of the decisions it was making and not oppose. “Otherwise if this continues, our relationships will not be to the benefit of the people,” she said. “The decisions that were made were not based on science but politics which I feel was not right.” She said those who opposed also argued that allowing Zambia to offload ivory stockpiles on the international market would affect elephant populations in other countries.
Namugala said the implications of non-acceptance of Zambia’s proposal entailed that the elephant population still remained on CITES Appendix I listings the country is not allowed to trade in ivory trophies, and international trade in raw hides, trade in live animals and ivory would not be permitted.
She said funds for conservation would also remain a constraint and Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) would continue storing the stockpile of ivory at a high cost. “The communities will continue suffering crop and other forms of damage without any benefits accruing from elephants,” Namugala said.
She however, clarified that trade in hunting trophies was already permitted as at the moment. “In this regard, personal effects and export of trophy ivory from hunted elephants in Zambia requires the issuance of an import permit by the importing country before an export permit can be issued. For avoidance of doubt, if the elephant population was down listed, under Appendix II a county can trade ivory trophies the issuance of an export permit by Zambia would have been the only requirement,” she said.
Namugala said under Appendix I, countries such as the United States which has most trophy hunters but had stricter domestic legislation than that enforced but CITES would still not accept the imports of trophies from Zambia as long as they were not satisfied with the non detrimental findings.
Namugala said Zambia needed to engage the United States to allow import of trophy ivory from the elephant population before it could propose to increase hunting quota from 100 to 120 elephants as outlined in the proposal.
Two weeks ago, Namugala led a delegation to Doha, Qatar where Zambia proposed to down list elephants from Appendix I to II of the convention. (The Post, Lusaka)

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