Stiffer penalties for poachers in the pipeline
The Ministry of Environment and Tourism is set to finalise the amendments to the Nature Conservation Ordinance No 4 of 1975 and the Controlled Wildlife Products and Trade Act of 2008 to ensure that those convicted of poaching will receive both stiffer fines and sentences.
The Minister of Environment and Tourism, Pohamba Shifeta said this recently, when he commended on those involved in the fight against poaching such as the Namibian Police, Game Reserve personnel, communities and farmers for effective collaboration that led to the successful arrests of a number of heavily armed suspects earlier this week. “All these successful arrests have been made possible with the good collaboration and cooperation that exist among stakeholders,” he said.
Following the black rhino that was poached at Erindi Private Game Reserve last week, four suspects were arrested in connection with the incident.
According to the minister, all arrested suspects in this regard were heavily armed and the Namibian police and other stakeholders acted swiftly and professionally to avoid a violent encounter during the arrest.
“I am confident that if we move in this direction together we will be able to break the syndicates involved in poaching and ultimately bring the poaching levels down or to a complete halt,” Shifeta added.
Furthermore, the ministry is set to strengthen its efforts in effective crime prevention and law enforcement through coordinated and integrated clusters of activities such as security planning, monitoring and adaptive management; a strong and effective presence on the ground, dedicated investigation units that focuses on criminal and poaching syndicates and organised crime.
“We will further strengthen our collaboration with the police, army, judiciary, intelligence service, communities, farmers and all other relevant stakeholders; and continuous training and capacity building of our staff members and those involved in this operation and wildlife crime prevention,” he added.