5 May 2019

Southern Africa: Elephant Summit Kicks Off in Kasane

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Kasane — Southern Africa is home to 250 000 elephants, majority of them found in the Kavango Zambezi Trans frontier Area (KAZA TFCA).

Speaking during Elephant Summit technical team meeting in Kasane on May 3, the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism permanent secretary, Mr Thato Raphaka, said it was estimated that 60 per cent of elephants existed outside protected areas of the KAZA TFCA.

The technical meeting was attended by permanent secretaries of environment, directors of wildlife, technical experts and law enforcement personnel from Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe. South Africa was not represented.

The meeting paved way for ministers meeting today(May 6) and the heads of states summit on May 7.

The President, Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi, is expected to officiate the heads of state summit to be attended by Zambian president, Mr Edgar Lungu and Mr Emerson Mnangagwa of Zimbabwe

Mr Raphaka said the summit was aimed at providing a platform to deliberate on issues and options including proposing recommendations for management of the region's elephant population.

He said the summit would further give the delegates and update on elephants, human-elephant conflict and legal and illegal killing for trade in ivory.

The key outcome of the summit, he said, would help develop a framework for international engagement on matters related to elephant conservation and management.

The summit was a result of a call by Botswana in response to the escalating challenges confronting elephant conservation and management in the region.

Source : BOPA

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