CITES tightens giraffe protection

Giraffe in the Okavango Delta PIC. THALEFANG CHARLES
Giraffe in the Okavango Delta PIC. THALEFANG CHARLES

CITES delegates at the ongoing meeting in Geneva have overwhelmingly voted to tighten the status of giraffes and make future trade nearly impossible.

The giraffe vote, 106 in favour and 21 against, is expected to mirror the upcoming one on whether Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Namibia and South Africa are seeking approval for future sales of their ivory stockpiles. 

Proposed by Chad and strongly supported by Nigeria, Kenya, Mali, Niger and Senegal, the giraffe proposal was opposed by Botswana, South Africa, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Zambia who say their giraffe populations are well maintained and growing through conservation. 

Botswana's suggestion to leave out those states with stable giraffe numbers was rejected, particularly by Senegal and Chad.

The same African states, Nigeria, Kenya, Mali, Niger and Senegal as well as others such as Burkina Faso, Cote d'Ivoire, Gabon, Sudan are expected to join several Western states in resisting Botswana's upcoming proposal. Regionally, Angola has said it will also oppose, while Tanzania is expected to support.

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