During the CITES annual meeting on the first of October 2018, China, Kenya, the Philippines, Thailand, Tanzania and Uganda were released from their duties regarding the reporting of their actions against the ivory trade.
Legal and illegal ivory trade is what fuels poaching, and this trade in turn finances organised crime, terrorism and aid corruption. Up until this month, all countries involved in the ivory trade were required to send a report (the National Ivory Action Plan) stating the situation, issues and the actions taken to decrease such a trade. Following the favourable submissions made by the countries themselves, with no verification whatsoever, the countries listed above were granted exit.
This is absurd! First and foremost, there should be an independent verification system in place to make sure that the reports submitted reflect the actual situation in each country. Second of all, a favourable submission should not be grounds for a "free pass," especially in such a delicate moment for large african mammals.
Every 26 minutes, an elephant is killed.
CITES, do we really want to lose track of this number by removing key countries like China, the Philippines and Thailand — all major consumers of ivory — and Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda — all major exporters of ivory — from any obligation?
Do we really want to seal the fate of this majestic species?
Reinstate these countries now!