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The past few weeks have seen a bit of a tussle play out in the $71bn-a-year Sub-Saharan African wildlife economy. Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Tanzania, which collectively sustain more than half of the world’s African elephant populations, have been squaring off against developed countries at the African Elephant Summit in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe.

The aim of the summit was to try to coax some of the 32 national members of the African Elephant Coalition into the camp that supports trade in elephant products. While the conference was not hailed as a success, the goal remains for these five countries to pressure the UN’s Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) to revisit its ban on elephant products at its meeting in November...

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