Effectiveness of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in Curbing Elephant Poaching in Zimbabwe

Yollanda Yeukayi Washaya, Jeffrey Kurebwa


The research focused on understanding the effectiveness and applicability of CITES in curbing elephant poaching in Zimbabwe. CITES regulates international legal trade in ivory in an effort to curb poaching and this is addressed by the theory of complex interdependence. Signatory states adhere to the provisions of CITES but with all this in place elephant poaching is on the rise across Africa and Zimbabwe in particular. Zimbabwe relies on wildlife for tourism thus the threat to extinction is a threat to national revenue. Key informants were purposively sampled and documentary research was used for the case study. The main findings were that poaching Zimbabwe has become very rampant in the past few years with highest numbers recorded between 2012 and 2015. This has been attributed to the economics of demand and supply where high demand for ivory in Asian markets with countries such as China becoming the world’s largest destination market for illegal ivory. On the supply side, Zimbabwe is facing economic challenges thus locals are now engaging and aiding in poaching for economic survival. The research concluded that CITES weaknesses is in that it only provides state parties with technical support thus without the financial support anti-poaching efforts are ineffective. 


CITES; Elephants; Poaching; Ivory trade; Illegal trade; Zimbabwe; Flora and fauna

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968/11739


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