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Monday, 17 April, 2000, 15:17 GMT 16:17 UK
Compromise reached on ivory trade

Four southern African countries attending the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, CITES, in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, have reached a compromise deal on the ivory trade.

They've agreed to delay any ivory sales until an effective system is in place to prevent the widespread poaching of elephants.

Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe had wanted a limited trade in ivory obtained through approved methods, but say they┬┐ll withdraw their request at least until the next CITES meeting in two years time.

Kenya has opposed any ivory sales saying that a one-off sale of ivory allowed by the last CITES meeting led to an increase in elephant poaching. The compromise deal has been welcomed by campaign groups; they say it gives them much needed time to assess elephant populations and poaching levels.

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