Namibia sold national stock reserve of Ivory
Nine tonnes of Ivory were sold on the legal auctions last Friday informed BBC News. Oct' 2008.
Ivory tusks will be sold for the first time in nearly 10 years in southern Africa
on Tuesday as four one-off auctions of ivory stockpiles to Chinese and Japanese buyers kick off in
South Africa, Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe, all of which have booming elephant populations, have
been given permission by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) to sell
off stockpiles of ivory from their national parks.
The sale, the first since a similar one-off sale in 1999, has provoked the ire of animal rights activists.
Groups like the International
Fund for Animal Welfare fear that the auctions, while legal, will fuel the resurgent black market trade in
the so-called white gold.
CITES in 1989 banned the sale of ivory to try to prevent poaching of elephants. The ban has been so
successful in some parts
of Africa elephant numbers have soared. But many West and East African countries are vehemently
opposed to reopening the trade in ivory.
At a convention in the Netherlands last year, delegates from CITES' 171 member states gave the nod for
the sale. The proceeds of the auctions are expected to go towards wildlife conservation in the four
Namibia has been licensed to sell nine tons of ivory to Chinese and/or Japanese buyers in a closed-door
auction in Windhoek on Tuesday.
After Namibia, the action moves to Botswana, then Zimbabwe and South Africa. Botswana has 44 tons
on offer, Zimbabwe 4 and South Africa 51 tons.
The South African auction will take place in the famous Kruger National Park, home to an estimated 14
000 of the country's around 20 000 elephants.
Some of the ivory for sale in Kruger Park was harvested from elephants that were culled before 1994,
when culling was allowed to keep down numbers.
Last year, the government in Pretoria re-opened the door to culling, but only as a last resort.
Kalashnikov bullet - stuck in the Ivory
Two elephants -killed by poachers, tusts cut by chain saw- Chad