poaching.jpgThe government says it is committed to supporting its neighbouring countries at the next CITES meeting when they present their proposals to trade in ivory as this will promote trade and economic integration within the SADC region.

The Minister of Environment and Natural Resources Management, Cde Francis Nhema said ivory trade will generate funds which will be used to improve systems that seek to reduce cases of poaching and any other forms of wildlife crime within the region.

He said the funds can also be used to improve the lives of the rural communities that live in areas adjacent to National Parks and other wildlife areas hence the need to support Zambia in its efforts to have the elephants down listed from Appendix 1 to Appendix 2.

“It is important for that to be presented again in the next CITES so that we are able to trade and sell off our ivory within the region. That amount will benefit that we are talking about,” he said.

CITES regulations only allow Zimbabwe to conduct trading under a Moratorium, an agreement which allows trade in ivory once every nine years.

This comes amid revelations that the country has more than 40 tonnes of ivory stock piles worth $10 million, with government incurring additional costs in security and storage space.

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)is an international agreement between governments aimed at ensuring that international trade in species of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival.