CONVENTION on International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES) has revealed that CoP18 will discuss among other issues proposals from various governments to change protection levels for about 500 species.
There have been growing concerns by member countries, especially in Southern Africa over the unfair restriction being employed by CITES especially with regards to trade of such animals as elephants and rhinos.
Countries in the KAZA (Zimbabwe, Angola, Zambia, Namibia and Botswana) are proposing that they should be allowed to sustainably reduce their herds of elephants but have not found joy so far.
Countries such as Kenya, on the other hand, are proposing a total ban on sustainable utilisation of elephants and want them to put under Appendix 1 from the current Appendix 2.
In a statement CITES said the CoP18 which is also known as World Wildlife Conference and earmarked for August in Geneva will go a long way in strengthening global wildlife trade regimes.
“CITES seeks to ensure that international trade in wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival in the wild. The 2019 conference will adopt a wide range of decisions to expand and strengthen the global wildlife trade regime.
“A key highlight will be the 57 proposals that governments have submitted for changing the levels of protection afforded to over 500 species of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and plants,” said the statement.
Zimbabwe currently has about 88 000 elephants against a carrying capacity of 55 000 but has not been able to reduce the numbers owing to CITES restriction despite increased wildlife and human conflicts.
The country also has ivory and rhino horns valued at over US$600 million which it is also seeking to trade in order to raise funds for conservation purposes.