Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Elephants a no-go at CITES

Yesterday was dedicated to elephants - although none of the proposals on the table made the grade with the delegtates - indeed it was a day of frustration for many.

Closest to get over the line was Zambia's request to download its elephant population to Appendix II. However, after a prolonged discussion it failed to do so by a handful of votes. The signficance of an Appendix II listing, in case you're wondering is that it would pave the way for the country to sell its ivory at some future stage.

There is a second chance for it - and indeed for all proposals as on Thursday, we have the plenary session. This is effectively a rubber-stamping the decisions taken exercise, but as the last CITES meeting shows, it can also be a chance to bring back some of close decisions for more debate. Last time it was painful, two of the more conservation important decisions overturned. This time, we can only hope some important decisions actually make it through.

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