Tanzania said yesterday , March 6th, that it will press for permission to sell around 100 tonnes of elephant tusks to reduce its huge stockpile and use the money to combat poaching.
"Our go-down in Dar es Salaam is full and we need to dispose of some of the tusks to create space for new stock," Natural Resources and Tourism Minister Shamsa Mwangunga.
"Proceeds from the proposed sale of 100 tonnes of elephant tusks will be used to buy equipment and finance anti-poaching operations," she said, adding that around 15 billion shillings (11 million dollars) could be raised.
The Convention on International Trade on Endangered Species (CITES) will hold its 15th session of the conference of parties on March 13-25 in Doha, where Tanzania and Zambia intend to apply for permits to sell ivory stockpiles.
But Tanzania's neighbour Kenya is opposed to allowing the sale of ivory arguing that it encourages poaching.
According to the Kenya Wildlife Service poaching for elephant and rhino tusks has been on the rise in Africa since the 2007 partial lifting of an international trade ban to allow a one-off sale to China and Japan by Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe.