Tanzania Applies for Ivory Firesale

Wants to downgrade elephant's protected status

Ryan O'Hanlon

Tanzania has formally applied for permission to unload its more-than-100-ton stock of ivory in a one-off sale. They also want to downgrade the protection of Tanzanian elephants from the highest category to allow for trophy hunting and trade in tusks, hides, and live animals. The country maintains that all proceeds from the sale would go toward elephant conservation. But environmentalists say the sale would counteract any positive revenue. “It’s ludicrous for Tanzania to even consider applying for permission to cash in on its stockpile,” said Mary Rice, executive director of the Environmental Investigation Agency. “Dumping more than 100 tons of ivory onto the market will only serve to further confuse consumers as to the legal status of ivory, stimulating fresh demand, spurring the black market, and leading to more poaching.” The global ivory trade is regulated by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, which will field Tanzania’s proposal. CITES rejected a similar proposal in March 2010.

Via The Guardian