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Namibia to ask permission from Cites to trade in ivory

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ENVIRONMENT and tourism minister Pohamba Shifeta says Namibia will ask the Convention on International Trade on Endangered Species of wild Flora and Fauna (Cites) to be allowed to trade in ivory.

Shifeta said Cites provides procedures to be followed for parties to be allowed to sell ivory legally.

If Namibia is allowed to do so, Pohamba said money generated will be used in conservation work. The Ministry of Environment and Tourism has the Game Products Trust Fund, which provides funding for conservation work in the country. He said Namibia has stockpiles of ivory of which some was confiscated from poachers.

The country also has rhino horn and ivory tusks of animals that had died of natural causes.

“Namibia is to host an African meeting on wild animals stockpiles, with the aim of finding ways to legally dispose of these stockpiles“ said Shifeta, adding that this meeting will either be held at the end of this year or early next year. Namibia is a Party to Cites.

Cites’s 17th Conference of Parties will be held from 24th September – 5th October. Some countries, such as Kenya, have always been against any call for ivory trade, claiming any ivory sale will encourage poaching.

Namibia has experienced a worrying number of poaching incidents in recent years.

Original article: http://www.namibian.com.na/index.php?page=read&id=38410

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