The Botswana Press Association has reported that Botswana plans to appeal to CITES (Convention on Trade in Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna) to sell a stockpile of more than 400 tonnes of ivory. The meeting with CITES is expected to be held in June this year.
The ivory comes from elephants that have died of natural causes, been destroyed as rogue animals or have been poached. Almost eight tonnes of ivory were also confiscated by port authorities, mostly at the Kazungula border post. Botswana previously sold 17 tonnes of ivory to Japan in 1999 when CITES authorised a one-off sale of 60 tonnes of ivory from southern African countries. Botswana’s elephant population is estimated to stand at about 150 000 elephants.