AFRICA / ELEPHANTS

23-Nov-2005
With the estimated number of elephants in West Africa dropping to between 5,000 and 13,000, a dozen countries are scheduled to sign a treaty on the animals' protection at a United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) meeting in Kenya's capital, Nairobi. UNTV

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STORY: AFRICA / ELEPHANTS

TRT: 0.40

SOURCE: UNTV

RESTRICTIONS: NONE

LANGUAGE: CH 1 ENGLISH / NATS

CH 2 ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: DATE UNKNOWN, AFRICA

SHOTLIST

1. Various shots, elephants in wilderness

STORYLINE:

With the estimated number of elephants in West Africa dropping to between 5,000 and 13,000, a dozen countries are scheduled to sign a treaty on the animals' protection at a United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) meeting in Kenya's capital, Nairobi.

The agreement and its action plan presented at the 20 to 25 November meeting sets targets and timetables for improving elephant habitats, boosting the numbers in fragile populations, setting up wildlife "corridors" and many other measures, including cross-border cooperation.

Elephant numbers were initially devastated by such factors as the 19th century ivory trade by the European colonial powers and land clearing for road and railway construction, UNEP said.

In the 20th century, pressures from ivory poaching have been joined by those from logging, along with the destruction of elephant habitats by agriculture, urban settlements and civil wars.

Many of the environmental workers in already protected areas lack the means to patrol and enforce conservation laws, Nairobi-based UNEP said.

The strategy calls for staff members to be given better equipment and training to raise morale and heighten the impact of their work.

The strategy will also help to coordinate scientific activities in the elephants' migratory range. It calls for more effective collection of numbers, trends in population sizes and other data, with targets to survey all populations of more than 100 by 2010 and those of more than 50 by 2015. Many countries now have fewer than 100 elephants.

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UNTV
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U051123e