CITES lifts ivory ban


HARARE - A world forum on endangered species lifted a seven-year-old global ban in ivory trade yesterday to allow three southern African states to conditionally sell ivory to Japan from, their "excess" elephant herds.

The 10-day Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) backed an "experimental" deal worked out on Wednesday by a 19-member committee after the conference had been bogged down in acrimonious debate over what many saw as demands for loose trade that could endanger elephants worldwide.