Inside Story

Are tougher rules needed to save the elephant?

A global ban on ivory sales is being called into question as Namibia and Zimbabwe push for looser regulations.

It’s been nearly 30 years since a worldwide ban was imposed on the sale of elephant ivory in an effort to protect the vulnerable animal from poachers

But now, Namibia and Zimbabwe want it lifted so they can sell their vast stockpiles of ivory tusks.

Opponents say lifting the ban will encourage poaching and lead to the elephant’s extinction, and several EU countries say current legislation works just fine and does not need to be changed.

But with the number of elephants in Africa dramatically declining, does the existing ban on ivory go far enough?

Presenter: Martine Dennis


Pohamba Shifeta – Namibia’s minister of environmental affairs

Paula Kahumbu – Chief executive, Wildlife Direct

Colman O’Criodain – World Wildlife Fund