July 2009, Claiming to the CITES Secretariat concerning the process of ivory export to Japan


In May 2009, 39 tonnes of ivory was exported to Japan legally. This was 10 years since the ivory trade ban treaty came into effect (1 adopted in 1989 and effective from 1990). Prior to this, the last ivory sale wasin 1990 in which the 50 tonnes of ivory was imported as a trial trade.

The 2009 trade of 39 tonnes of ivory into Japan was part of 101 tonnes of ivory which were allowed by CITES to export to Japan and China from four southern African nations as the one-time exception. Rest of 62 tonnes of ivory was exported to China. After this trade, all the ivory trade has been banned since 1990 and the four southern African nations which were allowed to export ivory in 2009 are not permitted to export for 9 years. As you can see, this time export was the exception and all the procedure should have been conducted under the strict control.

The ivories were imported from Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana and South Africa. All the ivories except from South Africa couldn't pass the check due to the deficiency and loss of official documents and they were stored at the warehouse and not imported to Japan. Later the papers from Botswana were found at the custom office in South Africa and ones from Zimbabwe were reissued. Considering the above mentioned situations,JTEF has a strong concern on whether all the conditions of ivory trade resumption was met regarding the strict trade control under the CITES secretariat.. Furthermore, these problems were not reported from the Secretariat at the permanent committee meeting of CITES held in July 2009, and JTEF also feels the suspicion on this point. (SC58 Doc. 36.3 Rev. 1).
Therefore, JTEF claimed that there were loop holes in the investigation conducted by the CITES Secretariat and un fairness in making the report. JTEF also reported this matter to the CITES Standing Committee members.


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