Poaching linked to crime syndicates has seen 85 000 tuskers being slaughtered in five years.
Lifting ivory and rhino horn trade bans could translate to an economic turnaround for Africa, where the black market for animal products is thriving.
It is not only armed insurgent and rebel groups that fuel the slaughter of elephants, it is also greed.
Tanzania claims the report about Chinese diplomats smuggling ivory was 'cooked up'.
Officials who visited Tanzania with President Xi Jinping took advantage of the lack of security checks to buy large amounts of ivory, say activists.
Intelligence chiefs have red-flagged wildlife poaching as a security risk, saying proceeds from the crime are being used to fund terror groups.
A report has shown that political and military elites are seizing protected areas, putting Zimbabwe at risk of becoming a front for ivory poaching.
New UN resolutions bring sanctions against illegal wildlife and resource traders who support armed groups committing social atrocities in Africa.
Malaysian customs have seized 24 tonnes of unprocessed elephant tusks worth almost $20-million, the largest haul in the country to date.
Two men have been arrested at Cape Town Airport for the illegal possession of elephant tusks following a tip-off by airport officials, say police.
Interpol says its biggest operation against ivory traffickers has led to more than 200 arrests and yielded nearly two tonnes of illegal ivory.
A Chinese man has been arrested in Cape Town for possessing ivory and elephant tusks.
Conservationists say regulating trade in ivory and rhino horn is getting tougher because syndicates are becoming more sophisticated.
The International Fund for Animal Welfare has called for a ban on the ivory trade after Malaysia seized a shipment of illegal tusks from Cape Town.
Malaysia has seized elephant tusks worth $760 000 from South Africa in the first haul of smuggled ivory destined for the south-east Asian country.
The past year has seen a record number of large ivory seizures across the world, confirming a sharp increase in the illegal trade in recent years.
Police on Tanzania's Zanzibar archipelago seized 1 041 elephant tusks apparently being smuggled en route to Malaysia, say officials.
Kenya's president set fire to more than five tonnes of ivory worth $16-million in an act meant to focus attention on a rising tide of poaching deaths.