PRO ELEPHANT NETWORK STATEMENT
Honourable Supreme Court of Pakistan, Constitutional Avenue, Islamabad
Government of Pakistan, Ministry of Climate Change and Conservator Wildlife, CITES National Authority, LG RD Complex, 5th Floor G-5/2, Islamabad
Legal Officer, Legal Affairs and Compliance, CITES Secretariat, International Environment House, 11 Chemin des Annemones, CH-1219 Chatelaine, Geneva, Switzerland
Ivonne Higuero, Secretary General, CITES
President Felix-Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo, Chairperson of the African Union
Barbara Creecy, Chairperson of the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN)
11 April 2021
THE PROPOSED IMPORT OF TWO WILD ELEPHANTS FROM ZIMBABWE FOR THE PESHAWAR ZOO IN PAKISTAN
The Pro Elephant Network (PREN) consists of an international community of diverse individuals and organizations, comprising specific expertise on elephants and captive elephants, from both western and eastern academies, including the fields of science, health, conservation, elephant welfare, economics, community leadership, social justice and the law.
We are referring to the Civil Petition No. 498-P/2020 pending before the Honourable Supreme Court of Pakistan which has resulted from Writ Petition No. 6653-P/2019 in the Peshawar High Court by Muhammed Hanif, Director of the Muhammed Hanif & Engineer Constructions Pvt Ltd. The petition seeks to secure a NOC document in order to try to complete the importation process of two elephants from Zimbabwe to the Peshawar Zoo in Pakistan.
CONVENTION ON INTERNATIONAL TRADE IN ENDANGERED SPECIES
There are strict rules under CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) which are used to regulate the international trade in live elephants, these rules are especially relevant when the proposed trade includes removing elephants from their natural range.
CITES is a multilateral treaty to protect endangered animals and plants threatened by trade. The Convention was drafted as the result of a resolution adopted in 1963 at a meeting of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (ICUN) in Nairobi, Kenya. The Convention entered into force as a global agreement among governments in 1975, Pakistan is a Party to CITES.
On the 27th August 2019 at the 18th Conference of Parties (CoP18) to CITES in Geneva, Switzerland, CITES Parties voted in favour of an amendment to a Resolution to prohibit the trade in live elephants from populations listed in Appendix II of CITES and taken from the wild, to “in situ conservation programmes or secure areas in the wild, within the species’ natural and historical range in Africa, except in exceptional circumstances where, in consultation with the Animals Committee, through its Chair with the support of the Secretariat, and in consultation with the IUCN elephant specialist group, it is considered that a transfer to ex-situ locations will provide demonstrable in-situ conservation benefits for African elephants, or in the case of temporary transfers in emergency situations.”
 Resolution Conference 11.20 (Rev. CoP18). 2019. Definition of the term ‘appropriate and acceptable destinations’. CITES Conference of the Parties, Geneva, 2019. https://cites.org/sites/default/files/document/E-Res-11-20-R18.pdf