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End of September / beginning of October 2016: Africa - Ivory trade.

The conference on the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), which opened in Johannesburg on 24 September 2016, rejected the applications of Namibia and Zimbabwe aiming to allow them to sell their ivory stocks. The request of Swaziland to sell rhino horns was also rejected. On the other hand, the protection of several species, including sharks and manta rays which have been added to the Appendix II of CITES, has been strengthened.

With a loss of 110,000 units, the amount of elephants in Africa has declined by a third over the past decade. The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cameroon and Gabon are the countries which are the most affected by poaching. Every day, three rhinos are killed for their horns.

The treaty of the CITES, signed by 182 countries and the European Union, entered into force in 1975. It protects, to varying degrees, 5,600 animal species and 30,000 plants.The Appendix I of CITES lists endangered species whose trade is banned, the Appendix II the species whose trade is regulated, and the Appendix III the species which are protected by a country that has requested assistance from the other members. 

Every three years, the delegates of the Member States meet to discuss the trade restrictions in this matter. The next conference of CITES will take place in 2019 in Sri Lanka.

October 26, 2015: South Africa
- South Africa eases the new visa regulations.

The South African authorities have just decided to relax the visa regulations that were significantly tightened a few months ago. Visa applications may be shortly submitted by travel agencies on behalf of their clients. More precisely, visitors from countries that have no South African mission can apply for a visa by post rather than having to appear in person at centres to apply for a visa. After three months to a year, South Africa will be expanding the number of visa facilitations centres in key countries. The visa regulations for children are relaxed too. The changes will be effective in about three months. 

June 1, 2015: South Africa
-  New entry requirements.

As from June 1, all minors travelling to and from South Africa are to be in possession of an unabridged birth certificate in addition to a passport and visa. They are also required to provide a certified letter of permission from the other parent if the child is travelling with only one of them.

All international visitors have also to apply in person for a South African visa to ensure that biometric (obtained through fingerprints) are reliably collected. 



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