Global treaty CITES to discuss protection of over 500 endangered species

Members of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) are gathering in Geneva to discuss protections for more than 500 endangered species.

Amid growing calls to reopen trade in ivory, the convention aims to tighten rules on trade in elephant ivory and other endangered animal and plant species.

RELATED: Experts take action to get Lammie the lonely elephant moved from Joburg Zoo

Bongani Bingwa chats to SANParks large mammal ecologist Dr Sam Ferreira.

The is a number of elephant proposals that will be tabled by the various countries. The discussions have just started and we will probably get to a decision in the next coming week.

Dr Sam Ferreira, Large mammal ecologist - SANParks

He says there are very case-specific challenges that countries in East Africa have when compared to countries in Southern Africa.

There is a common goal which is wanting to have elephants around but it is how we get there that sometimes creates challenges.

Dr Sam Ferreira, Large mammal ecologist - SANParks

In South Africa for instance, the good conservations that we have, come from investments that we made and how we manage them. That generated the good population and the good status of elephants in South Africa at the moment.

Dr Sam Ferreira, Large mammal ecologist - SANParks

Ferreira adds that he cannot say whether the CITES ban on the sale of ivory is working or not.

The reality is that South Africa we had a once of sale of our stock of ivory in 2009 and that enabled us to generate the kinds of elephants we currently have. From South Africa's point of view, the ban on the sale of ivory has made a big difference in how we manage to grow our elephant population.

Dr Sam Ferreira, Large mammal ecologist - SANParks

Listen below to the full interview:


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