The presidents of the Republic of Congo and Chad have set alight five tons of ivory seized from poachers to mark their commitment to fighting poaching on the continent.

The burning took place on the sidelines of International Conference on the Illegal Exploitation and Illegal Trade in Wild Flora and Fauna in Africa. The United Nations Development Program said Wednesday that leaders are drafting the first pan-African strategy to combat the illicit trade in flora and fauna, which will be presented to the African Union.

Republic of Congo President Denis Sassou N'Guesso said poaching is one of the most savage practices of the time, bringing the continent's elephant population from more than 1 million in 1980 to 450,000.

Chadian President Idriss Deby called for international coordination to stop poaching.