Malawi has cancelled today’s scheduled ivory burn, citing the need to include an outstanding 2.6 tonnes of ivory which is court evidence. A new date for the destruction of the ivory has yet to be set.
Malawi was set to become the first Southern African Development Community (SADC) country to torch its ivory stockpile. The decision to burn four tonnes of ivory was hailed as brave and groundbreaking, standing out in stark contrast against other , some of which resolutely demand the right to the sell their stockpiles.
“While IFAW encourages governments to put their ivory stockpiles beyond use, and was thus pleased to see Malawi taking this initiative in the Southern Africa Development Community region, the postponement of the ivory burn to include ivory currently caught up in ongoing investigations is reassuring,” said Jason Bell, Director of IFAW Southern Africa.
“It would be good for Malawi to destroy its entire stockpile and this postponement provides an opportunity for Malawi to work with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and other independent bodies to properly audit the stockpile and monitor the burn. This is important, especially given concerns raised in Kasane at the recent African Elephant Summit about a lack of oversight and transparency when it comes to ivory destruction events.”
The ivory burn was to be a focal point of the “Stop Wildlife Crime. Protect Malawi’s Wildlife” campaign launched by the Lilongwe Wildlife Trust and Malawi’s Department of National Parks and Wildlife in March, and which has found the support of thousands of Malawi citizens who wish to voice their condemnation of poaching and illegal wildlife trade.
IFAW Founded in 1969, the International Fund for Animal Welfare saves individual animals, animal populations and habitats all over the world. With projects in more than 40 countries, IFAW provides hands-on assistance to animals in need, whether it’s dogs and cats, wildlife and livestock, or rescuing animals in the wake of disasters. We also advocate saving populations from cruelty and depletion, such as our campaign to end commercial whaling and seal hunts. Go to www.ifaw.org to find out more about our campaigns.