Namibia and its partners in wildlife protection and law enforcement will step up efforts against wildlife crime in the country during this year’s festive season.
In the past, Namibia has observed that poachers take advantage of the festive season to undertake criminal activities of poaching rhinos, pangolins, elephants, and other species, the Ministry of Environment, Forestry, and Tourism (MEFT) spokesperson Romeo Muyunda said on Saturday.
“With the surge of poaching in 2014, numerous interventions have been put in place across the country, under the leadership of the MEFT to fight wildlife crime. Wildlife crime threatens not only the survival of the species but the reputation of the country’s conservation, socio-economic, and tourism development. Namibia’s growing tourism sector is hugely dependent on wildlife,” he said.
Muyunda said even though Namibia continues to record successes in the fight against wildlife crime, poaching of highly valued species remains a concern.
In 2022 to date, Namibia recorded 63 rhinos poached cases in the country consisting of 41 black rhinos and 22 white rhinos.
“This year’s poaching cases include 15 rhinos poached on custodianship farms, another 22 on private farms, and 26 in the Etosha National Park. In previous years, Namibia has recorded 44 rhinos poached in 2021, 42 in 2020, 57 in 2019, 83 in 2018, and 55 in 2017,” he noted.
Muyunda said the rhino poaching situation requires the involvement of all stakeholders especially members of the public in reporting suspected perpetrators to the authorities
Meanwhile, Muyunda said elephant poaching figures on the other hand continue to descend with only four poached this year. In previous years, Namibia recorded 10 elephants poached in 2021, 12 in 2020, 13 in 2019, 27 in 2018, and 50 in 2017.