Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa opened a UN wildlife summit in June 2019 with a call to lift the global ivory trade ban so that the country can sell $600 million of stockpiled tusks. He called "for the free trade in hunting products as these can have an important impact on national and local economies."
The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), which prohibits the sale of ivory, is being pressured by southern African countries to lift this ban. However, over the past decade, the population of elephants across Africa has fallen by about 111,000 to 415,000, largely due to poaching, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Zimbabwe along with Zambia, Angola, Namibia and Botswana convened in Victoria Halls to discuss how to handle its wildlife ahead of the CITIES meeting in August 2019. Collectively, the nations have half of the world's elephant population, and they are looking to lift the CITIES ban on the ivory trade.