#IvoryFreeCanada Petition Update – August, 2019
Hello Elephant Supporters,
The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (referred to as CITIES) has just concluded its most recent meeting in Geneva, Switzerland on August 28th. This convention (CITES CoP-18), is the forum where governments have agreed to meet every two to three years to regulate the international trade of wildlife and wildlife products. This includes everything from live animals and plants, food, leather goods, and trinkets made from animal parts.
An important agenda item at this meeting had to do with issues surrounding the ongoing protection of elephants. We are pleased to share some good news that came out of the convention. Although in Canada we have not yet closed the domestic trade of elephant ivory, here is a brief synopsis of what other countries proposed and the voting results below.
1) Zambia’s proposal to down-list their elephants from Appendix 1 to 2 was REJECTED. A WIN!
2) The proposal to amend Appendix 2 of CITES concerning enabling resumption of trade in registered raw ivory on elephant populations of Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe was DEFEATED. A WIN!
3) The proposal to export live African Elephants outside of their home range of Africa to zoos and other countries was DEFEATED. (with some exemptions) A BIG WIN!
4) Yahoo Japan will end the sale of ivory on the country’s biggest online auction site, joining competitors in a ban. A WIN!
5) Israel and Australia announced a ban on domestic ivory trade. A WIN!
Parties at CITES CoP-18), confirmed their commitment to the closure of domestic ivory markets, agreeing by consensus to focus scrutiny on remaining open markets such as Japan and the EU. Furthermore, parties that have not closed their domestic markets for commercial trade in raw & worked ivory will be requested to report on what measures they are taking to ensure that their domestic ivory markets are not contributing to poaching or illegal trade. It is assumed that Canada, as a signatory of CITES will have to, as do all other Parties that have not closed their domestic markets for commercial trade in raw and worked ivory, be requested to report on what measures they are taking to ensure that their domestic ivory markets are not contributing to poaching or illegal trade.
Unfortunately, a proposal by Kenya, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Gabon, Libera, Niger, Nigeria, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic and Togo to Up-list the four Elephant populations in southern Africa to Appendix 1 from the current Appendix 2, therefore prohibiting all international commercial trade in African ivory, was rejected.
Although it was an excellent outcome for the African elephant at CITES COP-18, intense challenges in improving livelihoods, law enforcement, and closure of domestic ivory markets still remain.
The time is now to be responsible and close the domestic trade of elephant ivory in Canada. We have almost reached our goal of 500,000 signatures! Another WIN! Please keep signing and sharing.
As a FYI –All species of giraffe (who are facing extinction) were uplisted to Appendix 2, which is an important step in regulating trade, and preventing any illegal and unsustainable trade for future generations. A BIG WIN!
You can read the final CITES report here:
The Ivory-Free Canada Coalition