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Smugglers resort to processed ivory goods.

Ivory processing in Africa for smuggling as finished products to Asia is on the rise, the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora has warned.

CITES said in a statement 'there is a growing concern and increasing evidence of ivory processing in Africa by Asian nationals for export to Asia.'

'This involves smaller volumes of worked ivory carried through air check-in carry-on luggage or couriers.It could potentially pose a serious threat and adequate enforcement efforts to stem this illegal flow are to be deployed,'CITES said.

Africa's elephant populations continue to fall due to continued illegal killing, land transformation and rapid human expansion.

CITES noted there has been a steady decline in poaching levels since its peak in 2011.

Although progress is being made, illegal killing continues at unsustainably high levels that exceed the natural rate of population increase and a lot of hard work remains to be done, it said.

In 1979, Kenya had 167,000 elephants, according to the Kenya Wildlife Service.

Today, there are between 30,000 and 38,000 elephants now living in Kenya.

CITES remains one of the world's most powerful tools for wildlife conservation through the regulation of trade.

The global body with 183 parties, including Kenya, notes there is also an increasing number of elephants being illegally killed through human-elephant conflicts, which will become of increasing concern over coming years. According to CITES, encouraging progress has been made by a number of parties towards the adoption of enhanced legislation to regulate international legal trade in wildlife and to stamp out illegal trade.

However, there is still a lot of work to be done to combat illegal trade in pangolins, rhinos, African lions, cheetahs and great apes.

Others are helmeted hornbills, tortoises and freshwater turtles, sharks and rays, sturgeon and paddlefish.

CITES Standing Committee in a packed agenda for a week-long meeting will starting today discuss progress made in tackling poaching of African elephants; adopting tighter wildlife laws; detecting illegal trade in pangolins, the world's most trafficked mammal. CITES secretary general John Scanlon said, 'This is the first meeting of the Standing Committee following the largest World Wildlife Conference ever - COP17.'

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Publication:The Star (Nairobi, Kenya)
Geographic Code:60AFR
Date:Nov 27, 2017
Words:426
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