Wednesday, June 13, 2007

CITES OK's Ivory Sale

CITES ok's the sale of Ivory from stockpiles in Africa. I think this is absolutely awesome! The sale has brought about a ton of controversy because the thought was that the sale of Ivory would effect the black market in Ivory trade. Now these stockpiles can flood the market and drive down the prices of illegally traded ivory and the money from the stockpiles will be put into trust funds for wildlife conservation in those areas. Attached is the text from the CITES decision on this matter.

CITES is very important to watch and learn from. If you want to learn about international trade, international hunting issues, check out the CITES website!

Elephants – Conditions for the disposal of ivory stocks and generating resources
for conservation in African elephant range States

Directed to Parties

(Rev. CoP11)

a) The African elephant range States recognize:

i) the threats that stockpiles pose to sustainable legal trade;

ii) that stockpiles are a vital economic resource for them;

iii) that various funding commitments were made by donor countries and agencies to offset the loss of assets in the interest of unifying these States regarding the inclusion of African elephant populations in Appendix I;

iv) the significance of channelling such assets from ivory into improving conservation and community-based conservation and development programmes;

v) the failure of donors to fund elephant conservation action plans drawn up by the range States at the urging of donor countries and conservation organizations; and

vi) that, at its ninth meeting, the Conference of the Parties directed the Standing Committee to review the issue of stockpiles and to report back at the 10th meeting.

b) Accordingly, the African elephant range States agree that all revenues from any purchase of stockpiles by donor countries and organizations will be deposited in and managed through conservation trust funds, and that:

i) such funds shall be managed by Boards of Trustees (such as representatives of Governments, donors, the CITES Secretariat, etc.) set up, as appropriate, in each range State, which would direct the proceeds into enhanced conservation, monitoring, capacity building and local community-based programmes; and

ii) these funds must have a positive rather than harmful influence on elephant conservation.

c) It is understood that this decision provides for a one-off purchase for non-commercial purposes of government stocks declared by African elephant range States to the CITES Secretariat within the 90-day period before the transfer to Appendix II of certain populations of the African elephant takes effect. The ivory stocks declared should be marked in accordance with the ivory marking system approved by the Conference of the Parties in Resolution Conf. 10.10 (Rev. CoP12). In addition, the source of ivory stocks should be given. The stocks of ivory should be consolidated in a pre-determined number of locations. An independent audit of any declared stocks shall be undertaken under the auspices of TRAFFIC International, in cooperation with the CITES Secretariat.

d) The African elephant range States that have not yet been able to register their ivory stocks and develop adequate controls over ivory stocks require priority assistance from donor countries to establish a level of conservation management conducive to the long-term survival of the African elephant.

e) The African elephant range States therefore urge that this matter be acted upon urgently since any delays will result in illegal trade and the premature opening of ivory trade in non-proponent range States.

f) This mechanism only applies to those range States wishing to dispose of ivory stocks and agreeing to and participating in:

i) an international system for reporting and monitoring legal and illegal international trade, through an international database in the CITES Secretariat and TRAFFIC International; and

ii) an international system for reporting and monitoring illegal trade and illegal hunting within or between elephant range States, through an international database in the CITES Secretariat, with support from TRAFFIC International and institutions such as the IUCN/SSC African Elephant Specialist Group and the Lusaka Agreement.