South Africa and Kenya will hold talks with other African countries on finding a common position on ivory trade ahead of the Conference of the Parties to CITES Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) in Johannesburg in September.
Speaking on the side-lines of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) in the Kenyan capital, Environment Minister, Edna Molewa, says South Africa will encourage frank discussions.
“We do have a dialogue planned that would necessitate the two of us to prepare for the Africa group meeting to look at such proposals on how we can work together in identifying areas of convergence, but also areas where we could find solutions to problems of that nature.”
South Africa is seeking consensus ahead of the September meeting. Kenya has indicated that it will seek a total ban on ivory trade.
South Africa and Kenya are both members of the Lusaka Agreement Task Force to bring together Eastern and Southern African countries in the war against the illegal trade in wildlife and wildlife products. The Johannesburg conference will provide a forum to rally global support to end the destructive trade.
According to Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, “Kenya will be seeking a total ban of trade in ivory. We hope you can stand with us as we seek to take this critical step to preserve the animals that contribute so much to our ecosystems and way of life.”
On reducing greenhouse gas emissions, delegates at the gathering in Nairobi were reminded that the world is in a race against time to keep temperatures from rising by less than two degrees.
According to United Nations (UN) Deputy Secretary General, Jan Eliasson, “Our path is clear, our destination is set. Our challenge is to move quickly, decisively and precisely to action.”
The Assembly ends on Friday.