This house Would Lift the Ban on Ivory Trading

In 1930, there were between five and ten million wild African elephants; by 1990, when they were added to the list of critically endangered species, only about 600,000 remained1. As part of the effort to combat this threat, in 1986, ivory trading was banned by the United Nations Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). By the mid-1990s, the population of African elephants was rising by an average of 4.5% a year, however by 2009 the trend had again been reversed and the population stood at around 500,000. Asian elephants have fared just as badly, there numbers have dropped from 200,000 a century ago to around 40,000 today1.

During the '90s, when elephant populations were increasing, CITES allowed Botswana, Zimbabwe and Namibia to sell ivory stockpiled by their governments' environmental agencies to Japan, the centre of international demand for ivory, as a one-off measure. In 2000 South Africa and other southern African states argued unsuccessfully at the CITES convention in Nairobi for the ban on ivory sales to be more generally relaxed. In 2008, CITE temporarily lifted the ban on the sale of existing stockpiles of ivory, generating much-needed income for African states2.

1 Scientific American. (2009, April 9). Are Elephant Populations Stable These Days? Retrieved August 2, 2011, from Scientific American:

2 Browne, P. (2009, August 25). Amid Legal Ivory Trade, Illegal Sales Grow. Retrieved August 2, 2011, from New York Times: