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Media Release: Ivory stockpile verified by CITES Secretariat

Date: 5th November 2008

South Africa will sell approximately 51 metric tons of stockpiled ivory in a once off sale to CITES accredited buyers China and Japan in a CITES approved sale.

South Africa will sell approximately 51 metric tons of stockpiled ivory in a once off sale to CITES accredited buyers China and Japan in a CITES approved sale. The stockpile consists of ivory that was verified by the CITES Secretariat as being of legal origin with data to back the origins.

The ivory consists of ivory obtained from culling (for the period 1988 to 1994), mortalities and breakages.

The ivory emanates from South African National Parks (SANParks), Mpumalanga Parks and Tourism Agency, North West Parks and Tourism Board and KZN Wildlife. Collectively the provincial agencies account for approximately 6 metric tons of the full stockpiled ivory.

Approximately 45% of the ivory was obtained before 1994 when culling was still practiced in the Kruger National Park and thus the rest of the ivory from 1995 to end 2006 was from mortalities and breakages. Ivory that was registered from 2007 onwards was not eligible for sale according to the agreement reached at the 14th Conference of Parties to CITES held in the Netherlands during July 2007.

“The tusks from elephants that have been part of the so called “big tuskers” in Kruger National Park will not be sold as it is seen as part of the heritage of South Africa that will be conserved for the future. Most of these tusks will be displayed in the Elephant Museum in Letaba Camp in Kruger National Park where visitors can see the tusks and get information on the carriers of these tusks,” said Dr David Mabunda, Chief Executive of South African National Parks (SANParks).

A nine year moratorium on the commercial sale of ivory will be implemented after the sale.

For media queries contact Roopa Singh (DEAT) on 082 225 3076 or wanda mkutshulwa (SANParks) on 082 908 2692.

Issued by:
Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism

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