Securing National Ivory Stockpiles

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Senior wildlife officials from Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda and Malawi met in Nairobi on February 12th and 13th for a workshop on securing national ivory stockpiles, led by the EPI’s Dr Winnie Kiiru and Ruth Musgrave.

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Dr Kiiru said, “If we want to ensure there is no illegal trade in ivory, we need to help countries manage stockpiles, with accurate inventories, management and secure storage. We are aiming for a gold standard methodology”. 

Governments of African elephant range States accrue stockpiles of ivory (and other wildlife products) through seizures from poachers or traffickers, natural deaths and legal culling. The meeting examined the digital tool for data storage, the Stockpile Management System, or SMS, developed by Stop Ivory.

The SMS is designed to eliminate human error and opportunities for corruption, by enabling officials to capture photos and data of ivory on a tablet, which can then be uploaded onto a secure central server. Dr Kiiru said the system can bring transparency and good governance to the management of ivory stockpiles.  “The fight to save the elephant is being conducted on many fronts, and the accurate recording of data is one of them,” she said.

The EPI will be leading further consultations with member countries on the secure management of ivory, with the support of the UK Government’s Illegal Wildlife Trade Challenge Fund. 

The ivory inventory protocol and the SMS in operation in Uganda

The ivory inventory protocol and the SMS in operation in Uganda