News report on Namibia seeking India's support on lifting ivory ban under cheetah deal ‘relies on speculation': Env Ministry

| | New Delhi
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News report on Namibia seeking India's support on lifting ivory ban under cheetah deal ‘relies on speculation': Env Ministry

Friday, 14 October 2022 | PTI | New Delhi

The Environment Ministry on Thursday said a news report on Namibia seeking India's support for lifting a UN ban on trade of ivory as part of the cheetah deal "largely relies on speculation, hearsay and not on facts".

India and Namibia had on July 20 signed a pact on "wildlife conservation and sustainable biodiversity utilisation".

The MoU said the two countries "should seek to promote biodiversity conservation with specific focus on conservation and restoration of cheetah in their former range areas from which they went extinct" and "sharing and exchange of expertise and capacities aimed at promoting cheetah conservation in two countries".

The report said: "While the word ivory has not been mentioned, Namibia has already sought India's backing, under the commitment to support 'sustainable management' at CITES, for its longstanding proposal to allow trade in ivory derived from elephants."

The ministry in a statement said: "The story 'Under Cheetah deal, sought India's support on lifting ivory ban: Namibia' published by Indian Express on 13th October, 2022 largely relies on speculation, hearsay and not on facts."

"Though the agreement signed between the Government of the Republic of Namibia and Government of the Republic of India includes 'wildlife conservation and sustainable biodiversity utilization' as one of the areas of cooperation, this cannot be construed as support for lifting the ban on trade in endangered species," the statement read.

It said the Indian government has not received any written communication from Namibia regarding lifting of the ban on ivory trade.

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