For the past two weeks there has been a conference on the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in The Hague. Whenever CITES meets, the issue of ivory trade grabs the headlines.
Francis Nhema, Zimbabwe’s Minister of Environment and Tourism has been attending the two week conference. He is calling on CITES to allow Zimbabwe permission to sell it’s ivory from stock piles. Botswana, Namibia and South Africa are in support with Zimbabwe on this one!
However, the Dutch-based NGO ZimbabweWatch feels otherwise. ZimbabweWatch staged a demonstration this week drawing Nhema’s attention to the many endagered species in Zimbabwe. Pascal Richard, ZimbabweWatch co-ordinator said in a statement,
“How can Nhema talk of protecting elephants when he fails to protect or even acknowledge the basic rights of his fellow human beings? Endangered species in present-day Zimbabwe areÂ journalists, trade unionists, members of the opposition, human rights activists, student leaders, lawyers and clergymen, to name but a few.”
Have a look at the Endangered Species in Zimbabwe poster produced by ZimbabweWatch here.
While CITES can protect animals as endagered species, who is going to protect Zimbabwe’s endangered human species?