Guest Contributor | May 17, 2019 | 0
Local Jumbo population continues to grow, thanks to the conservation model
The country’s conservation model has enabled the elephant population to expand from just over 7,500 in 1995 to 24,000 at present, according to H.E President Hage Geingob in a speech he delivered at the t Kasane Elephant Summit in Botswana this week
Geingob in his speech highlighted that the biggest potential threat to the country’s elephant population is the loss of habitat due to recurring droughts.
According to the President another problem area is fragmentation of range and rising incidences of human-elephant conflict.
“We are aware that these challenges are not unique to Namibia and exist within all member states. We therefore welcome the developed Elephant Management and Planning Framework, which will assist Partner States to manage their elephants as one contiguous population through a harmonized approach,” said Geingob.
Geingob added that Namibia continues to exercise strict control over ivory stocks. However, stocks continue to accumulate, by an average of 4.5% per annum, primarily through natural mortality.
“We express concern over the cost and security implications of holding large ivory stocks and reiterate our favourable stance towards legal international trade of ivory, from which proceeds would be utilized to support elephant conservation and programs,” said Geingob.
The summit brought together heads of state, ministers and regional integration bodies for the Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area among other with the ultimate aim to raise to awareness on the current status of the African Elephant as well to exchange ideas on the Human Elephant conflict and trade of elephants and their parts.
The Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area includes the following countries: Namibia, Botswana, Angola, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
Currently, the African elephant has been subjected to discussions in international fora such as the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora (CITES).
A moratorium on international trade has been in place since 2008 until 2017 but illegal trade has increased.