Stop Tanzania From Selling 100 Tons of Ivory

Target: Member states of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species

Goal: Do not allow Tanzania to hold a one-off sale of its ivory stockpile and downgrade the level of protection for elephants

Tanzania has formally applied to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites) to sell over 100 tons of its ivory stockpile to Japan and China in addition to lowering the category of endangered Tanzanian elephants so that they can be allowed to trade in products of elephant hunting. Tanzania has attempted to do this in the past, having made a similar proposal in 2010. Despite being rejected, they are returning with their application for the upcoming convention meeting.

Elephants are already in great danger from a variety of factors, with poaching at the forefront. Tanzania claims that all money made from the sale of its ivory stockpile would go towards conservational efforts for maintaining elephant communities. However, this claim is at odds with the desire to downgrade the elephant protection level set by Cites. Allowing the trade of elephant products would only make conservation more difficult as hunting would become encouraged. This is in a country which already has a large illegal ivory trading base and has long faced difficulties enforcing anti-trafficking laws. Furthermore, the Environmental Investigation Agency claims that these kinds of sales only serve to severely perpetuate the issue. Director Mary Rice has said that “…dumping more than 100 tons of ivory onto the market will only serve to further confuse consumers as to the legal status of ivory, stimulating fresh demand, spurring the black market and leading to more poaching.”

The member states of Cites must be made to understand the flaws inherent in this proposal and encouraged not to approve it. Allowing this application to pass will only undo many years of effort already put into protecting an endangered species and promote the trade, as well as the hunting, of these animals. Demand that Tanzania’s proposal be put down.


Dear Member States of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species,

Tanzania has formally applied to the Convention to sell over 100 tons of its ivory stockpile to Japan and China in addition to lowering the category of endangered elephants so that they can be allowed to trade in products of elephant hunting. This proposal would be decided upon during your next meeting in March, but I would like to remind you that a similar proposal was already shot down in 2010. There is no reason to change that decision now.

Although Tanzania claims that the funds will go towards elephant conservation, approving this proposal will only make conservational efforts even more difficult, as the legal trade of elephant products will spur hunting and further endanger elephants – thereby nullifying the downgrade in protection also being proposed. In addition, studies have shown that one-off sales of the type aimed for here only stimulate demand and therefore increase black market trade.

Please, do not make the mistake of allowing this proposal to pass. Maintain the current efforts being made to protect this precious species, and vote against Tanzania’s ivory sale.


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  1. Anthony Ruoro says:

    They wouldn´t have to spend money to stop poaching by selling poached ivory stocks if they had done their jobs correct in the first place. This is a bad and lame excuse for them to get some extra “pocket money”. If their officials were not so complacent and gullible to be manipulated by Japanese and Chinese buyers then they would be seeing the more important issue of burning this stockpile in order to show it has no value instead of helping increase demand and eventually more poaching. Burn it all !

  2. Daniela Bress says:

    The Western nations should finally stop all subsidies to these countries – they have proved long enough that they are not willing to use them for a sustainable infrastructure, its future generations, the environment and wildlife.

    They are continuing civil wars, poaching wildlife for their short-term profit, vandalize their environment and are not interested in their starving children.

  3. Des Wolfaardt says:


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