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Africa steps up efforts to stop illegal killing of elephants

Africa steps up efforts to stop illegal killing of elephants
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Delegates from 25 African countries and five Asian nations have drawn up a plan to address the upsurge in elephant poaching and illegal ivory trading .

Meeting at a conference in Botswana, the countries are set to sign a memorandum of understanding – setting out a series of urgent measures.

“The fact is that this level of illegal off-take is unsustainable. In 2012, it was estimated that a minimum of 20,000 elephants were illegally killed across monitored sites in the continent,” Botswana’s President Ian Khama told delegates.

As many as 20 percent of Africa’s elephants could be killed within 10 years if poaching continues at current rates, according to data released at the conference.