The Global North takes a step backwards in the fight to save the elephant in the Global South: The EU is proposing to permit some countries to manage their populations by allowing the ivory trade to go on.
Let’s break it down.
The EU says that ivory sale proceeds should be enabled to help manage populations.
Is that right?
Hold on, wait- what? Isn’t that a paradox- kill them to save them?
Yes. Strange logic.
So why is the EU important on this issue? After all, shouldn’t this be an African-owned decision?
They’re reportedly the largest exporter of ivory and they make up a massive chunk of the voting bloc and so they have a powerful say in what happens to the elephants, basically
Is it surprising?
No. EU member countries have done similar things before. E.g. they thwarted efforts to place a global ban on trade for polar bear products.
So why is it important to move the African Elephant to an Appendix I listing on CITES for all countries?
Species in this category are classified as critically endangered and are given the highest forms of protection, including bans on trade of products made from them. This means there will be a complete and comprehensive ban on the international ivory trade. I.e., outlawed.
What’s the upcoming COP17 conference have to do with this?
At these meetings, member parties vote for what species goes in or out of the classifications. It’s the last chance over the next 3 years to make a concrete change in international law to protect the African elephant.
There is just no time to lose- their anticipated extinction is in 25 years from now.
African Elephants are currently in Appendix I except those in Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe and South Africa.