By Apolinari Tario
When representatives from African elephant range countries and conservation experts are set to meet in Botswana next week to discuss the future of African elephant, Tanzania is in dilemma over the sale of tons of ivory stockpile stored in the capital city of Dar es Salaam.
To address the escalating poaching of African elephants, the International Union of Nature Conservation (IUCN) has convened a meeting in Gaborone, Botswana, from 2nd to 4th December this year and which will be opened by Botswana president, Ian Seretse Khama.
It is expected that some African Heads of State will attend the meeting, parallel with key conservationists from donor states.
But, the Tanzanian government is in dilemma over a bid to sale its 137 tons ivory stockpile, worth over US$ 80 million, and stored in a tight security Ivory Room in Dar es Salaam.
The government is lobbying to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) Secretariat to allow this African elephant range state to sale its ivory stockpile.
Tanzanian minister for Natural Resources and Tourism Mr. Khamis Kagasheki said this week that a prompt decision by CITES will enable Tanzania to dispose its huge ivory stockpile to raise more funds for conservation wildlife.
A bid to sale the ivory stockpile flopped in 2010 during the CITES Conference of parties which met in Doha, Qatar where the Tanzanian government submitted its proposal to sale the ivory lot.
Tanzania wanted to sell the ivory to trading partners that have been already designated by the CITES Standing Committee, as having sufficient national legislation and domestic trade controls to ensure that the imported ivory will not be re-exported and will be managed in accordance with CITES requirements concerning domestic manufacturing and trade.
The recent ivory seizures made by the militarized operation have added more ivory to the stockpile. Authorities have recently intercepted a largest consignment of ivory in the island of Zanzibar. More....