Kenya is among countries working hard to convince the parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) to reject proposals from Tanzania and Zambia that would downlist their elephant populations and allow them to sell their stockpiled ivory. Kenya has secured the support of 16 other African nations in this battle for elephants. Further support appears to be coming from Britain where Environment Secretary Hilary Benn confirmed that the UK intends to vote against the proposed sale of ivory from Tanzania and Zambia, a move that we applaud. Many, including us, are convinced that such sales would lead to further killing of African elephants.
Kenya, herself, has submitted a proposal on behalf of 24 of the 37 African Elephant Range States that supports a lengthening of the moratorium on ivory trade from 9 to at least 20 years. The current nine year moratorium (which applies only to the countries that have already been permitted to sell their stockpiles) has no biological basis. The mean age of first conception of a young female elephants is about 12 years. A resting period commensurate with an average elephant generation time should be based on mean female reproductive age (ca. 20 years and mean age of first male reproduction (ca. 35 years).
ElephantVoices is working with others to stop the trade. Until we depart for CITES in Doha in mid March 2010 we will continue to update you - both here on ElephantVoices.org and on ElephantVoices on Facebook. You can find selected media coverage related to poaching and the ivory trade here, and a page dedicated to this topic and our views here. We appreciate your support toward this effort!