The keynote speaker was Ross Harvey, Senior Researcher in the Governance of Africa’s Resources Programme at SAIIA.
There are approximately 500,000 elephants left on the African continent. The alarming poaching rates over the last decade have seen significant population declines across central, west and east Africa, even as some populations in southern Africa have recovered. The best estimates suggest that upwards of 100,000 elephants were illegally killed on the continent between 2011 and 2013.
As alarming as this is, the rate of general wildlife habitat loss and ecological destruction is equally concerning. International treaties must therefore take this reality into consideration when negotiating wildlife conservation objectives. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) is the multilateral agency tasked with regulating the trade in endangered species and their products. It will convene its 17th Conference of the Parties from 24 September to 5 October 2016. An important issue will be the continuation (or not) of the international ban on trade in ivory, implemented in 1989 and due to expire in 2017.
This briefing explained how CITES works, what is at stake, and what sensible country strategies might look like. The briefing also provided an overview of the research work that SAIIA has been conducting on questions of wilderness landscape preservation and elephant conservation.
Date: Tuesday 13 September 2016
Time: 15:30 to 17:00
Venue: Villa Sterne, 212 Johann Rissik Drive, Waterkloof Ridge, Pretoria
Ross Harvey has an MPhil in Public Policy from UCT and is currently pursuing a PhD in Economics, also at UCT. His areas of research expertise cover mining and development in Africa; economics and political economy; Chinese investment in African resource extraction; and elephant poaching and the ivory trade.