By Matt McGrath
The worst offending countries in the ivory trade have been given a strict deadline to reduce their involvement or face sanctions.
The decision taken at the final meeting of the Cites conference in Bangkok is meant to compel countries like China and Thailand to tougher action.
But some campaigners say Cites is failing to protect elephants and want more urgent action.
Data indicates that 17,000 elephants were killed by poachers in 2011.
This is the most up-to-date information available for areas monitored by Cites.
In its final session here in Bangkok, delegates approved a decision to demand a clear set of targets for reducing the trade in ivory from the countries deemed the worst offenders.
The “gang of eight” countries include the supply states, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, plus the consumer states of China and Thailand. The group also includes three countries - Malaysia, Vietnam and the Philippines - which are important in the transit of ivory.
Resource issue The meeting heard that six of the eight countries had now come up with action plans.
The standing committee of Cites also agreed that if the actions described in those plans were not completed then sanctions against the offending country, or countries, could be taken from July 2014. More....