Zimbabwe’s ivory stockpile has rocketed to 44 tonnes up from a previous record of 29 tonnes since the country cannot sell its ivory due to a ban imposed by CITES.
The nine-year moratorium on the international sale of ivory from Zimbabwe which will end in 2016 has resulted in the ivory stockpile increasing to 44 tonnes while the rhino population has risen to 700.
Addressing a media briefing in the capital, Parks Director General, Mr. Vitals Chadenga noted thatÂ while the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) imposed the moratorium in an attempt to curb poaching, this is disadvantaging ZimbabweÂ which has now accumulated a huge stockpile.
“We have 44 tonnes of ivory in stock, and there are also 5 tonnes of rhino horn that we have in stock, but which we cannot dispose……we are saying there is a cause for conservation and someone will have to pay for this conservation, yet we are not allowed to sell this ivory,” said Mr. Chadenga.
While the wildlife authority is sitting on the stockpile of ivory it is facing viability challenges as it requires US$100 million annually to fund its operations.
Poaching remains a major challenge for the wildlife management authority as the perpetrators are now employing sophisticated ways.
According to official statistics, Zimbabwe has an elephant population of 100 000.