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World Conservationist Asked To Convince
Tanzanians Not To Consider Selling Ivory


Coastweek
By Mohammed Hersi
April 9, 2010
 
 Past Chairman Kenya association of Hotelkeepers Kenya coast Mohammed Hersi has made an impassioned plea to world conservationist to convince the Tanzania government not to continue killing elephants for 'sport' and not to go back in to selling ivory on the international market.

Commenting on the issue from his North Coast hotel Mr Hersi recalled:

'The African elephant was facing near extinction in the late 1980s and thanks to Kenya Wildofe Service and the Kenya government for stemming the wanton killing.

'The now retired president Daniel Arap Moi walked the talk by physically igniting hundreds of tons of ivory that was captured from poachers or in transit to the Far East markets at our international airports.

'Our next door neighbour Tanzania have been insisting for them to be allowed to sell their Ivory and what they are seeking for is a small window to clear their stock.
 
 'What they are not telling the world is how did they accumulate so much ivory for sale in the first place.

'Apart from confiscating some from the poachers what has not been said is that Tanzania legalizes sport hunting to some level including the sport killing of elephants.

'This information is available from various websites on the internet.

'It is a fact that some of the sport hunters pay handsomely to do what they love best killing the 'Jumbos'.

' Kenya on the other hand has refused to legalize that despite the elephant numbers going up.

'Surely if someone has already paid you to kill a jumbo for pleasure why do you insist to sell the ivory.

'Once fresh supply is allowed into the market then it will jump start a fresh rush for Ivory which for obvious reasons cannot be fulfilled.

'Scarcity will come in and poaching will be back in large scale.

'It is absurd for some African countries to claim that if Kenya cannot police its ivory trade it should let others offload their stock and make merry.

'This is one of the most pedestrian arguments that you can ever put across.

'It is a known fact that Kenya and its conservation arm the Kenya wildlife services KWS have been in the forefront to protect wild animals notably the Elephant and even the Rhino.

'Our commitment to preserve these animals is second to none and for anyone to doubt our commitment is simply not genuine. 

'It sad to read in some quarters that  Tanzania is now planning for a “revenge” by not supporting future CITES issues raised by Kenya.

'The form of revenge no one knows but one thing for sure is that their anger is misplaced and I think this is the saddest thing coming from a neighbour.

'When Kenya objected to the Ivory trade it did not do it because it was Tanzania asking for it but our commitment that go way back into 1980’s.

'I am appealing to our good neighbours not to be 'patriotic' on this matter but look at it from the conservation angle.

'The 100 tons of Ivory they are holding worth U.S. $26 million is a pittance compared to the goodwill from the rest of the world.

' Kenya recently again put to fire more ivory to reiterate its position that Ivory trade should never be legalized.

'The Ivory Tanzania is holding should indeed be put to fire to avoid opening new demand besides our neighbour should not consider it a waste for simple reason that the tusks are from wild elephants that did not require any personalized care besides some got killed through sport hunting.

' Tanzania on the other hand should be looking at expanding its tourism facilities like international airports, training its tourism workforce rather than look at selling Ivory that cannot be sustained.
 
I suggest they speak to next door neighbours Rwanda who have taken upon themselves to help conserve the Mountain gorillas who prefer to stay on the Rwanda side of the deep Virunga mountains due to the safe haven.'

Article at:  http://www.coastweek.com/3315-02.htm

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