The illicit trade of wildlife is set to be a hot topic at the The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
Delegates from across the world will meet from 24 September to 5 October in Johannesburg for the 17th meeting of the convention.
Poaching and the trade of rhino horn and elephant ivory will be high up on the agenda.
Department of Environmental Affairs Spokesperson Albi Modise explains that South Africa has not made any submissions regarding the wildlife trade to be addressed at the gathering.
He explains that while South Africa is not opposed to wildlife trade, it acknowledges the need to protect endangered species.
We do not oppose trade as a country, we believe that trade is part of the mix of conservation— Albi Modise, Department of Environmental Affairs Spokesperson
We subscribe to a principal referred to as sustainable utilisation of natural resources, which effectively allows (among others) hunting, as long as its done in a sustainable fashion.— Albi Modise, Department of Environmental Affairs Spokesperson
According to Modise, wildlife trade should not be seen as a remedy to the challenge of poaching.
The discussions and outcomes at the convention should recognise the threat of illicit trade of wildlife, he says.
Listen to the full conversation from The John Maytham Show: