Namibia considers withdrawing from the global wildlife trade convention amid foiled efforts to ease rhino trade
Namibia is considering withdrawing from the global wildlife trade convention, CITES, after a vote rejected proposals to downgrade the country’s white rhino populations to a lower category that would relax some trade regulations, Environment Minister Pohamba Shifeta said on Tuesday, Xinhua News Agency reported.
Shifeta said Namibia would convene a meeting with other Southern African Development Community (SADC) member states to consider withdrawing from the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) after proposals to downgrade their white rhino populations from Appendix I to Appendix II was rejected.
“We had several submissions from SADC for down listing our white rhino from Appendix I to Appendix II, but there are some who feel that Namibia’s population is still small and we contested that Namibia’s population is the second largest in the world,” said Shifeta.
Namibia holds the second largest white rhinoceros population in the world after South Africa, with government estimates putting the population at 1,037 in 2017/2018. Except for the white rhinos of Etosha, most local white rhinos are not native with most found on game ranches having been introduced since the 1970s from South Africa.
“If CITES does not really help us to conserve our wild animals but frustrating those that are doing good, I think there is no need for us to stay in CITES,” Shifeta said.
Currently, domestic consumptive use of white rhinoceros and trade in rhinoceros horn and other products is not permitted in Namibia. (Xinhua).