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Guruvayur Devaswom to approach CITES for permission of legal auction of its ivory stockpiles

By CK GEORGE, ANAND S

Guruvayur, April 21(IVC) The Guruvayur Devaswom managing committee chairman, Dr. Prof.V.K.Vijayan said that it would approach the Geneva-based
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species popularly known as CITES, through the proper channel, for a legal auction of its stock of ivory.

Dr.Prof.V.K.Vijayan said that there is a lot of ivory belonging to the Devaswom which had been deposited with the forest department of the Government of Kerala for its safe custody.

CITES had imposed a total ban on the trade of Ivory globally in 1989, he added.

Though the global ban on the ivory trade was imposed in 1989, CITES had permitted four African countries such as Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana and South Africa to sell their stock of ivory under legal auction. Former member of the Asian Elephants’ specialists group of Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (ICUM) Dr.Jacob V Cheeran said tones of ivory stock pies 50 tones each in 1997 and 60 tones each in 2000 and 90 tones each in 2002, to reduce their ivory stock, the noted elephantologist Cheeran said.

CITES had permitted these four African Countries to sell their ivory stockpile of 50 tones each in 2007 too, Cheeran added.

Ivory Two

CITES had also allowed the developing countries, despite the ban, to export ivory to generate money resources from its sale to conservation and alleviation of poverty.

CITES had also granted permission to South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe for legal auction of their ivory stockpile of 100 tones each in 2008.

The world’s first legal ivory auction was held on Nov 6, 2008, in which a 15 Million was generated, Cheeran said.

The ivory of 100 tones was purchased by China and Japan Cheeran said.

The country has thousands of tones of ivory stock under different Government Forest Departments, which are lying idle as dead money, Vijayan said.

If the legal auction of ivory was permitted by the CITES it would be a great boost to the economy of the country which is in the doldrums following the Covid 19 pandemic, Vijayan added.

According to unofficial market sources, the price of ivory is 1000 per Kilogram.

Vijayan expressed the hope that CITES would grant permission for the legal auction of ivory as it is a just demand.

Vijayan said that the Union Government would also make its best efforts to obtain permission from CITES for the legal auction of ivory stockpiles in the country.

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