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Media Release: Ivory sale to contribute towards elephant research, conservation and community development

Date: 28th October 2008

South Africa is soon to be conducting its sale of approximately 51 tons of ivory as approved by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) Standing Committee.

South Africa is soon to be conducting its sale of approximately 51 tons of ivory as approved by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) Standing Committee.

The stockpile consists of ivory that was verified by the CITES Secretariat as being of legal origin and emanates from South African National Parks (SANParks), Mpumalanga Parks and Tourism Agency, North West Parks and Tourism Board and KZN Wildlife.

China and Japan have been accredited by CITES for the purchase of the approved ivory stockpile in South Africa, Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe.

The sale to CITES accredited buyers, China and Japan will take the form of an auction.

There is no prior indication of what price this ivory will be sold for.

As specified by CITES, the proceeds from this sale of the approved ivory must be used for elephant conservation programmes and community development, especially those communities in and around the area of elephant habitation.

South Africa will be using the proceeds of the sale of this ivory within the specific guidelines laid down by CITES and will filter it as follows:

  1. A major portion of the money will be earmarked for elephant related research, conservation, anti poaching measures, monitoring of herds and land expansion.
  2. Conservation functions which will include employment of additional game rangers, obtaining more vehicles, erecting elephant proof fences where needed, purchasing of equipment etc.
  3. Community development projects, specifically within communities affected by the presence of elephants.

“As per the stipulations of the 14th Conference of Parties to CITES held in July last year, the conservation agencies have done extensive planning to ensure that the proceeds of the sale will be used within the specifications. There is no argument that this money will go a long way towards enhancing conservation research, boosting our enforcement capabilities and helping communities who share land with elephants,” said Dr. David Mabunda, Chief Executive of SANParks.

The money allocated to the specific programmes and projects within the CITES stipulations will be monitored in accordance with the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) and National Treasury Regulations.

Inquiries:
wanda mkutshulwa, Head of Communications, (SANParks) Cell: 082 908 2692
Roopa Singh, (DEAT) Cell: 082 225 3076

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