The Southern African Development Community (SADC) member states are considering pulling out of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).
Kavango Zambezi Trans-frontier Conservation Area member countries which include Zimbabwe are seriously considering withdrawing from CITES over what they consider to be unfair treatment of the ivory trade proposal by the organisation.
SADC delegates attending the ongoing CITES Cop18 meeting in Geneva, Switzerland have expressed frustration and disappointment over the treatment that they have received from the grouping. Namibian Environment and Tourism Minister Pohamba Shifeta said:
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As SADC region we are going to reconsider our stay. We are going to have a meeting and make a statement. People without having a single elephant have the audacity to lecture and frustrate us then there is no need for us to stay.
The SADC region is home to over 70% of the global elephant population. The number of elephants in the region’s game parks has now exceeded their carrying capacity.
Western-funded animal rights activists are reported to be at the centre of CITES’ refusal to allow SADC countries to resume trade in ivory.