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South Africa hosts 17th conference on endangered species

South Africa hosts 17th conference on endangered species

South Africa

The protection of endangered species threatened with extinction due to strong demands in Asia, is a major challenge of the 17th conference of the Convention on International Trade in endangered species of wild fauna and flora which opens this Saturday in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Three species are facing extinction threats. According to WWF officials, three rhinos are killed each day for their horns due to high demand in the market, especially as a kilogramme of rhino horns is sold for an estimated 60.000 dollars.

Hunted for ivory, the elephant population has declined by 30 percent between 2007 and 2014.

The measures taken so far to protect these species have not been able to discourage poachers.

African countries like Zimbabwe and Namibia are in support of the legalisation of trade in ivory and rhino horns.

The pangolin is another endangered specie considered as the most threatened because its scales and organs are used in traditional medicine. More than a million pangolins have been killed within a decade.

Poaching raises an estimated 20 billion dollars a year for those involved.

For close to two weeks, about 3,500 delegates from 182 countries will brainstorm on whether or not it is necessary to ease or harden trade restrictions on some 500 species of fauna and flora.