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CITES COP19 downgrades status of southern white rhino despite increase in poaching

CITES COP19 downgrades status of southern white rhino: The proposal to move the southern white rhino from Appendix I to Appendix II was approved at the 19th Conference of Parties, which is a significant blow for rhino conservation in Africa (COP19). The request by Botswana and Namibia to downgrade the classification was approved at the COP19 conference, which was hosted by CITES in Panama City. Species of wild animals that are endangered are included in Appendix I.

CITES COP19 downgrades status of southern white rhino: Key Points

  • Even though the creatures listed in Appendix II may not necessarily be in danger of becoming extinct, trade of those species should be regulated to ensure that it does not endanger their survival.
  • The motion was approved with 83 votes in favour, 31 votes against, and 13 abstentions.
  • According to CITES press release, the countries proposed allowing international trade in southern white rhinoceros of Namibia only for trophy hunting and live conservation purposes.
  • In Namibia, there are thought to be 1,237 white rhinos, according to press release.
  • However, according to official data, as many as 57 white rhinos were reported as having been poached in Namibia between 2013 and 2020. 
  • In 2021, 12 more were acknowledged.
  • Through August 2022, 48 rhinos were reported to have been poached in Namibia, including 32 black and 16 white animals. 

Increase in poaching of Southern White Rhino

Preventive dehorning campaigns continue to be thwarted by the poaching of wild animal species. Additionally, it notes that 59 rhino horns, including those from black and white rhinos, were captured between April 2021 and March 2022 alone. The modification limited the downgrade to only live animals and required that it only be done for in-situ conservation. The initial proposal also called for the export of game animals.
With 85 votes against, 15 in favour, and 26 abstentions, the measure was defeated. Despite the fact that it closed down the local rhino market, Vietnam was among the nations who opposed it, while China was among those that supported it. The same inconsistent position on elephant ivory was added to the proposal.

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