Committed to curb illegal wildlife trade
The Deputy Minister of Environment and Tourism, Hon Tommy Nambahu reaffirmed the Namibia’s stance on illegal wildlife trade during the Hanoi Conference on Illegal Wildlife Trade, held in Vietnam last week.
Nambahu in a statement said that illegal wildlife trade is a scourge that calls for the collective resolve of the international community to bring it to a complete stop.
According to Nambahu, Namibia has implemented actions and measures adopted under the London Declaration and the Kasane Statement and reaffirmed the country’s commitment to continue implementing the outcome of similar conferences going forward.
“My country has proposed to amend its legal framework to provide for severe punishment of wildlife crimes and the Amendment Bill will soon be tabled in Parliament,” he said.
Furthermore he said they have strengthened the law enforcement measures which will continue to give rural communities a meaningful role in the conservation of natural resources.
Currently the conservation programme is underpinned by strong community involvement, as the ministry recognizes community as an important stakeholder in the protection of wildlife.
“The community is then granted rights to benefit from wildlife by using it in a sustainable way. This is done through consumptive way such as hunting and non-consumptive way for example eco-tourism. Both forms of utilization generate job and earn the community an income. We have made significant strides in this regard and we remain willing to share our experiences with any interested party,” said Nambahu. “We are concerned about the increased demand for illegal wildlife products, which undermines our conservation endeavours. Efforts should be made to promote legal trade or else some of our successful conservation programmes which are based on creating incentives for the local community who live with wildlife will collapse completely,” he said.