- Namibia will officially impose a temporary ban on ivory trade in September while it claims its control and abide by international regulations on endangered species.
Permanent secretary in environment and tourism industry, Kalumbi Shangula said Namibia aims to strengthen control measures in ivory trade as set out on the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).
Ban would include sale of ivory jewellery and all products made of ivory until a new law is in place to control such trade.
"The temporary suspension will start on 1 September until Controlled Wildlife Products Bill is enacted," he said, adding that the Bill is expected to be tabled in Parliament in September.
Windhoek jeweller Horst Knop welcomed the move though he said jewellers and goldsmiths will lose income.
"This is a very short notice, just 11 days before the ban comes into effect, but in principle it is a good thing, although we cannot sell ivory jewellery already on our shelves for a while," he said.
The ban would also be imposed on ekipas, traditional carved ornamental ivory products worn by women of Oukwanyama ethnic group in northern Namibia, as cultural objects which was recognized by CITES in 2004.
Namibia was among countries which were approved to trade ivory by CITES conference in 2002 and then modified with new conditions at a later meeting in 2007, including approval of Zimbabwe to trade its ivory.
Ivory trade was banned globally in 1989, but revival of elephant populations allowed African countries to make a one-time sale a decade later to Japan, the only country that had previously won the right to import, now joined by China.
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