>> You may not have heard of the pangolin but this scaly animal is the world's most poached mammal. That could be about to change thanks to a new global trade ban made here at CITES in South Africa, the UN's 17th Endangered Species Convention. Reuters correspondent Ed Stoddard is at the summit in Johannesburg, and says pangolins aren't the only animals on the agenda.
>> There's a proposal by the small kingdom of Swaziland to sell off part of its stockpile of rhino horn. There's also initiatives being brought forth to bring added protections to lions, as well as sharks and rays and other species.>> Some of the propositions being put forward here causing concern.
One of the most controversial from Zimbabwe and Namibia, they want the ban on global ivory sales lifted.>> Between private owners and governments, there's believed to be about $2 billion worth of rhino horn, and if that was allowed to be sold, proponents of trade argue that that could go into conservation.
Opponents say that any kind of move to make the sale of rhino horn socially acceptable will doom the species to extinction.>> The location of this year's summit is fitting. South Africa has about 85% of the worlds rhino population and up to 1,000 rhinos are forecast to be poached in Kruger Park this year.
This is happening despite a global trade ban on ivory and rhino horn. It shows that any decisions made at CITES is a good starting point, but can't promise complete protection for species like the pangolin.