Environmentalists petition Obama to impose sanctions on Mozambique

African country is facing allegations of colluding with poachers, resulting in killing of thousands of elephants and rhinos

Published: Friday 04 July 2014

US President Barack Obama was petitioned by environmentalists on July 3 to impose trade sanctions on Mozambique because of its alleged role in facilitating elephant and rhinoceroses poaching

Experts say there is enough proof to show Mozambique’s failure in following international conventions against wildlife trafficking and some evidence even indicates state complicity.

Last year, Obama had launched a new initiative against wildlife trafficking, targeted particularly to curb ivory smuggling.  But many say that instructions given by the international community to Mozambique have been rendered ineffective because Mozambique has been facilitating g poachers.

The petition focuses on the key international agreement to check wildlife trafficking—the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). The next meeting of the standing committee of CITES is scheduled next week in Switzerland.

A record number of elephants and rhinoceroses have been killed in Africa in past three years. Experts say some 50,000 elephants and 1,000 rhinoceros are killed in Africa every year. The primary market is Asia, particularly China and Vietnam. 

In China, which is the world’s biggest ivory market, the price of ivory has tripled in the past four years. The demand is fuelling killing of African elephants because ivory rates in Africa are a tenth of that in China and the scope for profits is huge. Seizures of ivory bound for Asia has more than doubled since 2009, stated a UN report last year.


CITES Report: Elephant conservation, illegal killing and ivory trade

IUCN Report: African and Asian Rhinoceroses: status, conservation and trade

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