Some African countries with elephant populations say they want to lift an international ban on the ivory trade and the killing of herds. A meeting of delegates in Zimbabwe ahead of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species later this year says elephant overpopulation is harming communities and flora.
Fourteen African countries say they want communities with elephant populations to benefit from them. As a result, he issued a communiqué on Thursday after the four-day conference, demanding lifting of the ban on trade in ivory and rearing of elephants.
The group plans to take that message in November to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species or CITES in Panama, an agreement between governments to ensure that wild animal and plant species are protected. .
Nkobizitha Mangliso Ndlovu is the Minister of Wildlife of Zimbabwe.
“Mainly to say that as African states we have significant populations of our elephants. It is therefore important that the ideas, proposals that we are presenting at CITES should be taken seriously, chief among them We have issues with our wildlife products. We are currently spending a lot of money on the custody of our ivory, the ivory trade we are banned from. We want to believe this is one of the major outcomes that we Looking forward to coming from CITES to allow us to go back to conservation wildlife products,” Ndlovu said.
Zimbabwe says its national parks are home to about 100,000 elephants, twice the number of parks that can comfortably accommodate them.
Government officials say this has resulted in animals running out of parks and destroying local crops.
Sithembiso Mpofu Sibanda is a 59-year-old Zimbabwean widow who lives just outside Hwange National Park.
He said that the elephants are troubling the local people and attacking their fields and houses and the local people can no longer cultivate in their fields. He said farmers are asking officials to build a fence to keep the elephants out.
Some African countries, such as South Africa, which is home to 45,000 elephants, oppose lifting the ban. Officials there say South Africa uses birth control to manage elephant populations and fences along national park borders.
Sam Ferreira is a large mammal ecologist in the national parks of South Africa.
“One of the difficulties is that people are trying to think that the African steward of wildlife has only one solution, in fact they don’t, they go through some very serious thinking that the really tough people. What can I do before I reach it, now I have to remove an animal permanently,” Ferreira said.
The European Union opposes lifting restrictions on the trade in elephant ivory and questions the data used by Zimbabwe to estimate its elephant population.
“I think you know my understanding is that there is information needed about capacity etc. So, I think there is probably work to be done,” said Timo Olkonen, the EU’s ambassador to Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe accused the European Union and other Western countries of influencing CITES to impose a ban on the ivory trade, which was implemented to protect the dwindling numbers of the elephant species from poachers on the continent.
The ban has encouraged the growth of the elephant population, but is also causing problems for people like Sibanda.