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Environment/Natural Resources

SOUTHERN AFRICA/IVORY SALEBack
[Published: Tuesday October 28 2008]

Ivory auction opens amidconcerns

Pretoria , 28 Oct-(ANA)- Thefirst officially sanctioned sale of ivory in southern Africa for almost adecade has opened with Namibia , Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabweexpected to auction more than 100 tonnes of ivory from stockpiles to buyersfrom China and Japan.

The money raised will gointo elephant conservation projects.

Some environment groups saythe sales encourage poachers elsewhere in Africato kill elephants for ivory that can be fed into the illegal trade.

However, data collected bythe wildlife trade monitoring network Traffic shows that seizures of illegalivory fell in the years following the last legal sale in 1999.

The secretariat of theConvention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), the UN bodythat sanctioned the sale, says it will monitor trade in China and Japan to makesure companies are not mixing illegally sourced ivory with these legalshipments.(ANA)

FA/ANA/28 October 2008---


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