In a victory claimed by conservationists seeking to shield Africa’s elephants from poachers, the main international agency protecting endangered species resolved on March 21 to uphold a 21-year-old ban on the international trade in ivory, rejecting efforts by Tanzania and Zambia to dilute the prohibition. With elephant poaching on the rise — despite increased populations of the animal in some countries — the 175-nation Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, known by its acronym, Cites, turned down a Tanzanian proposal to permit a one-time sale of some 90 tons of its ivory stocks. Hours later, Zambia withdrew a similar request for a one-time sale of 21 tons of tusks, but it sought a modest reduction in the international protection of its elephant population to permit eventual future trade. Despite support from the United States, that proposal, too, was defeated. (New York Times)

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