Strict barriers for illegal wildlife trade
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of International Relations Honourable Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah says strict trade barriers to fight illegal wildlife trade need to be enforced in order to tackle the illegal trading of wildlife in Namibia and across the globe.
Speaking at a conference on the illegal wildlife trade held in Kasane, Botswana this week, the deputy prime minister said, “Namibia recognizes that the illegal wildlife trade can only be effectively tackled if both the demand for and supply of illegal wildlife products are controlled or if possible eradicated.
“Therefore we call upon both producer, transit and user countries to work together to eradicate illegal trade in wildlife products.”
Nandi-Ndaitwah called for the development of the ivory trade decision making mechanism, under the auspices of the CITES standing committee which she stressed need to be finalized before the next CITES conference of the parties, as per the relevant CITES decision, as this is an important part of wildlife trade.
“If the illegal wildlife trade is not curbed, it will not only lead to the loss of income and jobs to the communities, but the whole wildlife conservation faces the danger of collapse.
“Namibia is concerned that its current levels, this unsustainable trade will deprive nations of their natural capital and natural heritage thus undermining sustainable development,” she said.
In order to fight illegal trade in wildlife products Namibia has established a National Wildlife and Security Committee. The objective of the committee is to bring together relevant stakeholders, private, public and civil society to work out and implement strategies to curb wildlife related crimes.
To enforce the work of the committee, mechanisms have been put in place for more law enforcement officers specifically for wildlife prevention to be recruited.
The government has also reinforced extension services and awareness creation to ensure that information on the impacts and consequences of illegal wildlife trade is widely disseminated.
According to the International Fund for Animal Welfare Illegal wildlife trade is worth $19 billion a year.