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The Zimbabwe government is asking the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), which protects endangered species, to lift its ban on global ivory exports. At a CITES meeting scheduled for November, it will present its case. Panama will host CITES’ 19th Conference of Parties (COP 19). Zimbabwe is asking for a one-time sale of its stockpile; previous sales occurred in 1999 and 2008. In the past, Namibia, Zambia, and Botswana have also called for the ban to be lifted.

Zimbabwe has a stockpile of 130 tonnes worth approximately $600 million that it has accumulated over the years.

Elephants and rhinos that died of natural causes and caches seized from poachers and smugglers make up the stockpile. Any kind of animal death is prohibited by CITES, not just poaching.

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