Four southern African countries will hold a one-time sale of 200 tons of stockpiled ivory before the start of a nine-year moratorium, in a hard-fought conservation compromise. Proceeds from the blowout will be used in elephant conservation efforts in the future. "It's the best we could achieve for the African elephant," said one activist.
Wrangling over the deal divided the nations involved; some sought annual sales quotas, while others that rely on wildlife tourism, such as Kenya, backed a 20-year ban. Critics complained that yesterday's agreement, hammered out at The Hague, did little to address the illicit poaching that remains rampant African countries with feckless enforcement.