- Illegal ivory smuggling continues to take place at an alarming rate, despite seizure of hundreds of kilograms, dismantling of networks and nabbing of smugglers.
"Consumer demand is booming, and domestic trade is out of control. Until this is addressed, we will not see an end to the bloodshed," Michael Wamithi, Global Elephant Program Manager of International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), said.
"The recent decision by CITES [Convention on the International Trade of Endangered Species] conference of the parties in June to approve nearly a decade-long suspension of trade in elephant ivory is not enough," Wamithi told IFAW website.
On 20th January this year, Namibian officials arrested and charged three people after they seized 13 elephant tusks of seven dead elephants. The tusks totalled nearly 200 kg of ivory.
Zimbabwean police also arrested 11 suspected poachers who are believed to have killed 15 elephants within two weeks in Hwange National Park.
Similarly, Cameroonian security has disbanded a poaching network in the South where they confiscated 20 tusks.
"We must consider the breadth of this issue. The problem is not merely in Africa - past incidences have indicated China is the most likely final destination for illegal ivory. This side of the issue must be recognized and tackled. We must do everything in our power to halt their obtainment of pending ivory stockpiles," Wamithi said.
With the approval of Japan, CITES standing committee will meet in July 2008 to determine China's acceptance as a trading partner.
But Wamithi said China's application should be rejected mainly because elephant range states lack the resources to protect themselves against consumer demand.
IFAW's investigations into China's ivory trade regulations revealed that the country's domestic trade control mechanisms are far from being adequate. As such, it is impossible to ensure that continued trade in ivory will not negatively impact African and Asian elephant populations.
afrol News - It is called "financial inclusion", and it is a key government policy in Rwanda. The goal is that, by 2020, 90 percent of the population is to have and actively use bank accounts. And in only four years, financial inclusion has doubled in Rwanda.
afrol News - The UN's humanitarian agencies now warn about a devastating famine in Sudan and especially in South Sudan, where the situation is said to be "imploding". Relief officials are appealing to donors to urgently fund life-saving activities in the two countries.
afrol News - Fear is spreading all over West Africa after the health ministry in Guinea confirmed the first Ebola outbreak in this part of Africa. According to official numbers, at least 86 are infected and 59 are dead as a result of this very contagious disease.
afrol News - It is already a crime being homosexual in Ethiopia, but parliament is now making sure the anti-gay laws will be applied in practical life. No pardoning of gays will be allowed in future, but activist fear this only is a signal of further repression being prepared.
afrol News / Africa Renewal - Ethiopia's ambitious plan to build a US$ 4.2 billion dam in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, 40 km from its border with Sudan, is expected to provide 6,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for its population plus some excess it can sell to neighbouring countries.