U.S. Embassy Zambia

Ambassador Schultz Discusses Wildlife, CITES and the Economic Value of Elephants

September 20, 2016

Ambassador Eric Schultz discusses the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) meeting in South Africa this month. The 182 CITES member countries, including both the United States and Zambia, will decide what measures are needed to end poaching, illegal trade in wildlife, and wildlife trafficking, while keeping pressure on poachers. The Ambassador says poaching impacts both game ranching and tourism, areas that have unfulfilled potential to create jobs. Wildlife populations need to increase to make ranching and tourism sustainable. One study shows an elephant can be worth US$ 1.5 million in tourism revenue over its lifetime, while hunting fees and local spending by hunters may only draw a small fraction of that amount, benefitting a small number of people only once. The United States is proud to be a supporter of Zambian wildlife by providing funding and training to DNPW staff, and Americans are the largest group of foreign holiday tourists who visit Zambia every year.