WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The African Wildlife Foundation today announced an endorsement for a Pan-African approach to sustaining the unique wildlife of the continent. Entitled “Placing Wildlife Before Borders at CITES”, the statement accompanies the issuance of specific responses to proposals under consideration by the voting members of CITES CoP17.
"The Parties to CITES are voting on the future of iconic species,” said Craig R. Sholley, Senior Vice President of the African Wildlife Foundation about CITES CoP17. “Policies that will determine the survival of remaining populations of elephants, rhinos, great apes and big cats will be voted on at this meeting. We felt it was important to make our position clear and given full consideration before decisions are made.”
The African Wildlife Statement reads as follows:
“The African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) believes Africa’s unique wildlife need to be viewed and managed in total – as a larger continental herd for Africa’s elephants and as one continental pride for Africa’s lions.
We urge a Pan-African approach that is based in science and focuses on the needs of the species as a whole. Africa must come together on these issues with urgency and in unified spirit. The continent, indeed the planet, cannot wait for debate or allow disagreement to forestall efforts that prevent Africa’s natural heritage from disappearing.
CITES is an important mechanism that governs international trade in over 35,000 species. It can and should be adjusted to account for pragmatic realities. Highly endangered species like elephants, lions and rhinos are under too much threat to be traded sustainably.
We urge national governments and members of CITES to utilize science within their proposals which focuses on protecting these species in their entirety throughout the continent.
Countries continue to play one against the other for narrow national interests. It is time for range states to look at the species that live within their borders as parts of larger metapopulations. AWF supports and stands with the governments and leaders who have the courage to put Africa’s wildlife before borders.”
The statement and responses can be found online at the following address: http://www.awf.org/news/placing-wildlife-borders-cites
About the African Wildlife Foundation
The African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) is the primary advocate for the protection of wildlife and wild lands as an essential part of a modern and prosperous Africa. Founded in 1961 to focus on Africa’s unique conservation needs, we articulate a uniquely African vision, bridge science and public policy and demonstrate the benefits of conservation to ensure the survival of the continent’s wildlife and wild lands.