Zimbabwe has missed out on accessing money for elephant conservation programmes, due to its non-participation in the recent CITES committee meeting in South Africa.
Six African states were allocated money for conservation initiatives at the meeting in December 2011. The CITES fund was launched in August 2011 and has received approximately $250,000 in contributions from Germany, France and the Netherlands. During the three-day meeting, the members of the Committee: Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Congo, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa met with representatives from Germany and the Netherlands to allocate $150,000 to six elephant conservation projects, ranging from investigating regional illegal ivory markets to mitigating local human-elephant conflicts.
Poaching on the rise
According to Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force, there has been a surge in elephant poaching countrywide. Waterholes have been poisoned, land invaders have been involved in poaching and trees are being chopped down for firewood, placing the animals at risk.