Zim to host elephant conference

By Josephine Mugiyo, Diplomatic Correspondent

ZIMBABWE is set to host an elephants summit as the country seeks to find solutions to the jumbo over-population and the ban on ivory trade.

With an elephant herd of more than 80 000 against a carrying capacity of around 45 000, Zimbabwe is faced with a constant headache on how to deal with the growing population of the jumbos.

However, some Western countries and animal rights groups are opposed to ivory trade and this has affected Zimbabwe, which is fighting for the rights to sell ivory acquired through natural death, culling and confiscation alongside other Southern African countries like Botswana, Namibia and Zambia.

“One of the issues to be discussed is we want to build consensus that we speak with one voice concerning the issue of elephant management. Especially as we head for COP 27, we need to have one voice. We hope to host several ministers of environment. As Zimbabwe, we are a key player. We are also going to discuss the ivory stock pile,” said Tinashe Farawo Zimparks spokesperson.

Zimbabwe and other African countries last benefited from the sale of ivory in 2008, when CITES approved a one-off sale.

Cases of human wildlife conflict have also become a major source of worry and Zimparks is working on a policy which incorporates the views of the affected communities.