The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of wild animals and plants has 184 signatory Parties−any one of the Parties is entitled to submit a proposal to the Conference. The meeting of the CITES Conference of the Parties is the ultimate decision-making body.

The 19th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP)is taking place from the 14th to the 25th of November 2022 in Panama City. Decisions taken at this CoP will continue to shape the international trade in wildlife.

The CITES Secretariat received a proposal, CoP19 Prop. 5, for consideration for the amendment of Appendices I and II, specifically to transfer the Loxodonta Africana populations of Botswana, Namibia, South and Zimbabwe from Appendix II to Appendix I. The proposal was made by members of the African Elephant Coalition namely, Burkina Faso, Equatorial Guinea, Mali, and Senegal.

This proposal, if accepted would result in the prohibition of international trade for primarily commercial purposes in African elephant specimens of wild origin, including from the four range States concerned. States Parties will make their own decisions next month in Panama City at CoP19 about whether this proposal should be adopted or rejected.

Amending the CITES Appendices is a rigorous, science-based process that demands a wide range of expertise. The stakes are high both for these vulnerable species of plants and animals and for the people whose livelihoods depend upon them. We should also consider that Parties have legally binding obligations towards all species included in the CITES Appendices. It is vital that our decisions be as well-informed and wise as possible” CITES Secretary-General Ivonne Higuero

Any species that appears on Appendix I is effectively banned from commercial international trade. Appendix II species can be traded but that trade is strictly regulated and subject to tight controls from both the exporting and importing Parties.

Despite this, wild elephants were captured in Namibia in February 2022 and exported from Namibia to Al Ain Zoo and Sharjah Safari Park in the United Arab Emirates. The European Association of Zoos and Aquaria has terminated the membership of the Al Ain Zoo in the UAE as a result of the evidence of their investigations related to the multiple breaches of EAZA Codes and Standards which has negatively impacted the reputation of the organization (see Appendix 1). EAZA reiterated its condemnation of the import of the Namibian elephants and will not be drawn into an alternative proposal that may be used to justify the importation of wild elephants into a zoo.

The Pro Elephant Network has supported the further expansive investigations and exposure of the recent and ongoing Namibian wild elephant export debacle.

The Pro Elephant Network remains extremely concerned about the SADC (Southern African Development Community) member’s misinterpretation of current CITES regulations, specifically the export of African elephants outside of their natural range states, a topic that was raised and discussed at the CITES Standing Committee Meeting in Lyon on the 9th of March 2022.

We, the undersigned, respectfully request Parties to CITES to support the proposal of Burkina Faso, Equatorial Guinea, Mali, and Senegal to amend Appendices I and II, specifically to transfer the Loxodonta Africana populations of Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe from Appendix II to Appendix I.

We furthermore urge the Parties to support the proposed changes to Resolution Conf. 10.10 (Rev. CoP18) as detailed in CoP19 Doc. 66.4.1 which would restrict wild-caught live exports to in situ conservation programs or secure areas in the wild, within the species’ natural and historical range in Africa, and would apply to all wild African elephants wherever they are located.



1 Owais Awan – Advocate in the High Court, Islamabad, Pakistan
2 Suparna Baksi-Ganguly – President /Co-Founder, Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation Center, India
3 Dr Brett Bard – Wildlife Veterinarian, South Africa
4 Dr Jessica Bell Rizzolo – Postdoctoral Researcher, Michigan State University, USA
5 Professor David Bilchitz – Director, South African Institute for Advanced Constitutional, Public, Human Rights and International Law, South Africa
6 Megan Carr – Founder, Rhinos in Africa, South Africa
7 Lenin Chisaira – Founder, Advocates 4 Earth / Green Law Connect, Zimbabwe
8 Janey Clegg – Committee Member, SPCA Mutare, Zimbabwe
9 Dr Betsy Coville – Exotic and Wildlife Animal Veterinarian, USA
10 Dr Harvey Croze – Co-Founder, Amboseli Elephant Research Project, Kenya
11 Nomusa Dube – Founder, Zimbabwe Elephant Foundation, United Kingdom
12 David Ebert – Founder and Director, Animal Defense Partnership, USA
13 Stefania Falcon – Co-Founder, Future 4 Wildlife, South Africa
14 Daniela Freyer – Co-Founder, Pro Wildlife, Germany
15 Michele Franko- Captive Elephant Caregiver and Wildlife Advocate, USA
16 Chief Stephen Fritz – Indigenous Leader, South Peninsula Khoi Council, South Africa
17 Dr Toni Frohoff- Ethologist, Behavioral Biologist, Founder of TerraMar Research, USA
18 Dr Marion E. Garai – Elephant Behaviour Specialist, South Africa
19 Georgina Groves – Elephant Behaviour Specialist and Animal Welfare Technical Expert, UK
20 Dr Ross Harvey – Environmental Economist, Botswana
21 Heike Henderson-Altenstein – Co-Founder, Future for Elephants e.V., Germany
22 Alok Hisarwala Gupta – Lawyer, Centre for Research on Animal Rights, India
23 Iris Ho – Head of Policy Pan African Sanctuary Alliance (PASA), USA
24 Peter Hodgskin – Founder, Hands-off Fernkloof, South Africa
25 Sangita Iyer – Founder, Voice for Asian Elephants Society, Nat Geo Explorer, Filmmaker, Canada
26 David Kabambo – Founder and Director of Peace for Conservation, Wildlife Management, Tanzania
27 Dr Paula Kahumbu – Chief Executive Officer WildlifeDirect, Kenya
28 Professor Mohan Kharel – Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal
29 Nuria Maldonado Torrecabota – Founder, IScapes, Spain
30 Duncan McNair – CEO, Save The Asian Elephants, United Kingdom
31 Jim Karani – Director, Lawyers for Animal Protection in Africa, Kenya
32 Dr Winnie Kiiru – Founder, Conservation Kenya, Kenya
33 Brigitte Kornetzky – President and Founder, Elefanten in Not, Switzerland / India
34 Professor Bob Jacobs – Psychology Department, Colorado College, USA
35 Lynne James – Consultant, Elephant Conservation, Zimbabwe
36 Dr Mark Jones – Veterinarian & Head of Policy, Born Free Foundation, UK
37 Kahindi Lekalhaile – Africa Network for Animal Welfare, Kenya
38 Dr Smaragda Louw – Director, Ban Animal Trading, South Africa
39 Dr Keith Lindsay – Collaborating Researcher Amboseli Trust for Elephants, Advisor FFW, UK
40 Giorgio Lombardi – Warden, Vogelgat Private Nature Reserve, South Africa
41 Linda Masudze – Lawyer, Advocate 4 Earth, Zimbabwe
42 Varda Mehrotra- Co-Founder, Samayu, A Just World, India
43 Brett Mitchell – Chairperson Elephant Reintegration Trust, South Africa
44 Dr Cynthia Moss – Director, Amboseli Trust for Elephants, Kenya
45 Dr Nurzhafarina Binti Othman- Founder, Seratu Aatai, Elephant Conservation and Research, Malaysia
46 Sharon Pincott – Elephant Behavioral Specialist, ex-Hwange, Zimbabwe
47 Michele Pickover – Executive Director, EMS Foundation, South Africa
48 Bharati Ramachandran – CEO of the Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organizations, India
49 Ian Redmond OBE – Co-Founder, Rebalance Earth, Chairman Ape Alliance, UK
50 Ingo Schmidinger – Director of International Operations, Elephant Sanctuary, Brazil
51 Dr Jan Schmidt-Burbach – Head of Wildlife and Animal Welfare, World Animal Protection Int, Germany
52 Dr DJ Schubert – Wildlife Biologist, Animal Welfare Institute, USA
53 Dr Liz Tyson – Animal Welfare Law, Programs Director, Born Free, USA
54 Antoinette Van de Water – Director, Bring the Elephant Home, South Africa
55 Vasanthi Vadi – Trustee of the Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organizations, India
56 Professor Dan Wylie – Poet, Author, Rhodes University, South Africa
57 Amy P. Wilson – Director, Animal Law Reform, South Africa



58 His Excellency Lieutenant General Dr Seretse Khama Ian Khama – Former President of Botswana
59 Tshekedi Stanford Khama – Hon MP for Serowe West, Environmental Conservationist, Botswana
60 Thea Khama – Conservationist and Youth Mentor, Botswana
61 H.E. Professor Judi Wakhungu – EGH Kenya Ambassador to France, Holy See, Portugal, Serbia, and Monaco, Former Minister of Environment, Water and Natural Resources, Kenya
62 Jay Naidoo – Former Minister for the Reconstruction and Development Programme, during the Nelson Mandela Presidency, South Africa
63 Henry Smith – Member of Parliament, Crawley Constituency, UK
64 Dr Joyce Poole – Scientific Director ElephantVoices, Kenya
65 Angela Sheldrick – Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, Kenya
66 Georgina Lamb – CEO David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation, UK
67 Dr Rosalind Reeve – Senior Advisor David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation, UK
68 Lawrence Avery – Programme and Policy Manager, David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation, UK
69 Will Travers OBE – Co-Founder and Executive President, Born Free Foundation, UK
70 Charlie Mayhew MBE – Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Tusk Trust, UK
71 Danika Oriol-Morway – Executive Director Four Paws USA
72 Vanessa Amoroso – Head of Wild Animals in Trade, Four Paws International
73 Fiona Miles – Director, Four Paws, South Africa
74 Damion Aspinall – Chairman, Aspinall Foundation, UK
75 Amos Courage – Director of Overseas Projects, Aspinall Foundation, UK
76 Dereck Milburn – Regional Director, Aspinall Foundation, South Africa
77 David B. Casselman – Co-Founder, Cambodia Wildlife Sanctuary, USA
78 Dr Gaye Bradshaw – Founder and Director, Kerulos Centre for Nonviolence, USA
79 Eli Weiss – Founder, President, Wildize Foundation, USA
80 Reineke Hameleers – Chief Executive Officer, Eurogroup for Animals, Belgium
81 Charlotte Nithart – President, Robin Des Bois Association, France
82 Valentina Bagnato – Head, International Relations, International Organisation for Animal Protection, Italy
83 Adams Cassinga – Founding Director, Conserv Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo
84 Jim Justus Nyamu – Executive Director, Elephant Neighbours Center (ENC), Kenya
85 Lameck Mkuburo – Founder and Director, Tanzanian Elephant Foundation, Tanzania
86 Nathan Edward Swartz – Head Researcher, IKSHA COUNCIL, South Africa
87 Timothy Kamuzu Phiri – Executive Director and Co-Founder, Mizu Eco Care Organisation, Zambia
88 Nyakwaka Madutua – Community Conservation Educator, Peace for Conservation, Tanzania
89 Julie Woodyer – Campaigns Director, Zoocheck, Canada
90 Barry Kent MacKay – Founding Director, Zoocheck, Born Free USA Canada Representative, Canada
91 Dr Lori Marino – Founder, Executive Director Kimmela Centre for Animal Advocacy, Canada
92 Liz White – Party Leader, Animal Alliance of Canada Environmental Voters Party of Canada, Canada
93 Kiersten Cluster – Co-Founder, Elephant Guardians of Los Angeles, USA
94 Paul Christian – Trustee, Protect All Wildlife, UK
95 Diana Valencia Cuevas – President, Abriendo Jaulas & Abriendo Mentes, A.C., México
96 Shana Kelly – President, Rethink Captivity, USA
97 Barbara Lovett – Co-Founder and President Save Nosey Now, Inc., USA
98 Luc Mathot – Director and Founder, Conservation Justice, Belgium
99 Vasanthi Kumar – Co-Founder and Trustee, STRAW, India
100 Nikita Dhawan – Founder, Youth for Animals, India
101 Tony Verhulst – Co-Founder, Elephant Haven, European Elephant Sanctuary, France
102 Sofie Goetghebeur – Co-Founder Elephant Haven, European Elephant Sanctuary, France
103 Tozie Zokufa – Director, Coalition of African Animal Welfare Organisations, South Africa
104 Katrick Satyanarayan – Co-Founder and CEO, Wildlife SOS, India
105 Geeta Seshamani – Co-Founder Wildlife SOS, India
106 Dr Priya Davidar – Founder, Sigur Nature Trust, India
107 Dr Jean-Philippe Puyravaud – Researcher Sigur Nature Trust, India
108 Dr Vishwas Satgar – Co-Founder, Climate Justice Charter Movement, South Africa
109 Pooven Moodley – Executive Director, Natural Justice, South Africa
110 Cormac Cullinan – Director of Cullinan & Associates and the Wild Law Institute, South Africa
111 Professor Melanie Murcott – Public Law, University of Pretoria, South Africa
112 Francesca de Gasparis – Director, Southern African Faith Communities’ Environment Institute
113 Sarah Kvalsvig – Environmental Lawyer and Consultant at Cullinan & Associates, South Africa
114 Ricky Stone – Environmental Lawyer and Consultant at Cullinan & Associates, South Africa
115 Kirsten Youens – Founder and Executive Director, AllRise, South Africa
116 Samantha Cohen – Legal and Administrative Officer, Animal Law Reform, South Africa
117 Cheslyn C. Ceaser – Legal Research , Animal Law Reform, South Africa
118 Karl Ammann – Wildlife Photographer & Conservation Documentary Film Producer, Switzerland
119 Jared Kukura – Conservation Writer, WildThings Initiative, USA
120 Elisabetta Corra – Environmental Author, Founder, Tracking Extinction, Italy
121 Don Pinnock – Environmental Journalist, Co-Author of The Last Elephants, South Africa
122 Francis Garrard – Director, Conservation Action Trust, South Africa
123 Cyril Christo – Wildlife Photographer, Documentary Filmmaker, Author, USA
124 A.E. Lovell – Endangered Wildlife Poet, Australia
125 Charan Saunders – Environmental Consultant, Writer, South Africa
126 Linda Tucker – Founder and CEO, Global White Lion Protection Trust, South Africa
127 Margo Naude – Head of Communications, Global White Lion Protection Trust, South Africa
128 Dave Neale – Animal Welfare Director, Animals Asia Foundation, UK
129 Marleen Le Febvre – CEO, Wildlife At Risk International Organisation, Netherlands
130 Dr Andrew Kelly – Director, Freedom for Animals, UK
131 Nicole Rojas – Founder, Wild for Change, USA
132 Jack Baucher – Co-Founder, The Ark, UK
133 Pippa Hankinson – Director, Blood Lions, South Africa
134 Dr Louise De Waal – Director, Blood Lions, South Africa
135 Nicola Gerrard – Director, Blood Lions, South Africa
136 Ian Michler – Director, Blood Lions, South Africa
137 Dr Roelie Kloppers – CEO, Wildtrust, South Africa
138 Lauren van Nijkerk – Director Marketing & Communications, Wildtrust, South Africa
139 Mark Stratton – Co-Founder, Free Bunka Organisation, Environmental Journalist, UK
140 Tina Papadopolou – Co-Founder, Free Bunka Organisation, UK
141 Lex Abnett – Director, Southern African Fight for Rhinos, South Africa
142 Renee Bish – Co-Founder, Bettys Bay Baboon Action Group, South Africa
143 Peter Oxford – Co- Founder, Betty’s Bay Baboon Action Group, South Africa
144 Toni Brockhoven – Chairperson, Beauty Without Cruelty, South Africa
145 Anna Centura – Co-Founder, Future 4 Wildlife, Europe
146 Lizaene Cornwall – Co-Founder Panthera Africa Big Cat Sanctuary, South Africa
147 Catherine Nyquist – Co-Founder Panthera Africa Big Cat Sanctuary, South Africa
148 Kim Da Ribeira – Director, Outraged South African Citizens Against Poaching, South Africa
149 Dave Du Toit – Founder, Vervet Monkey Foundation, South Africa
150 Sera Farista – Climate Justice Youth Climate Group, South Africa
151 Sairusha Govindsamy – Climate Policies, African Climate Alliance, South Africa
152 Lorraine Holloway – Founder, Baboons of the South, South Africa
153 Guy Jenning – Director, WildAid, Southern Africa
154 Vivien Law – Regenerative Farming Project, Parliament for the People, South Africa
155 Les Mitchell – Director, Institute for Critical Animal Studies, Africa
156 Jabu Myeni – Environmental Education Programme, Gifted for Good, South Africa
157 Stephen Munro – Director, Centre for Animal Rehabilitation and Education, South Africa
158 Linda Park – Director, Voice 4 Lions, South Africa
159 Charles Simane – Researcher, Climate Justice Charter Movement, South Africa
160 Steve Smit – Co-Founder, Monkey Helpline, Rehabilitation Centre, South Africa
161 Jenni Trethowan – Founder, Baboon Matters, South Africa
162 Stephen A Wiggins – Founder, International Wildlife Bond, UK
163 Wynter Worsthorne – Founder, Animal Talk Africa, South Africa


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