Breaking: Pro-Ivory Trade Country’s Change of Heart Upends Elephant Debate
In a dramatic switch, the country with the world’s largest population of elephants, Botswana, urges a ban on ivory trading.
Johannesburg, South AfricaIn a surprising about-face, Botswana—the country with the largest remaining number of wild elephants—has thrown its weight behind a proposal to end trading elephant ivory for good.
The move, announced at a major international wildlife conference, puts Botswana at odds with its southern African counterparts, which continue to support limited legal ivory sales. It also stands to strengthen the global push to ban the ivory trade: Botswana has 130,000 wild elephants, according to the latest elephant statistics, giving the country enormous clout on the issue.
The announcement came during heated debate on October 3 at the triennial conference for CITES, the 183-government body that regulates the global wildlife trade. The body is considering a number of proposals on the legality