05 Mar 2015 14:10pm
WINDHOEK, 05 MAR (NAMPA) A Parliamentary Standing Committee has urged the ministries of Justice and Home Affairs to initiate an extradition agreement with the government of Angola to combat cross-border wildlife crimes effectively.
Poaching has become a serious problem in the country, particularly in the Kunene Region, where poaching bandits appear to operate freely.
The Kunene Region borders the south of Angola.
So far this year, 14 rhino carcasses and 33 elephant carcasses have been found in Namibia.
There appears to be syndicates operating in southern Africa which fuel the demands and are willing to pay high prices for wildlife products, including rhino horns, said Ben Amathila, the chairperson of the Standing Committee on Economics, Natural Resources and Public Administration.
Tabling a report on poaching in Namibia in the National Assembly on Wednesday, he further called on the Ministry of Mines and Energy to consult regional authorities and local communities before allowing activities to take place in wildlife, especially rhinoceros breeding areas.
He also called on the Ministry of Environment and Tourism to accelerate the drafting of the legislative framework to improve the enforcement of the law and the prevention of the escalation of poaching in Namibia.
The National Assembly should support by realising changes to existing legislative framework to bring about more effective prevention of poaching of wildlife, Amathila said.
He noted that after a consultative meeting last year with the Legal Assistance Centre in Windhoek, the committee decided to have a public meeting at Wereldsend situated in the Sesfontein Constituency of the Kunene Region.
The meeting took place on 11 August 2014.
The Parliamentary group consisted of Katuutire Kaura, Simson Tjongarero, Ndaningaweni Protasisus Nghileendele and Carol-Ann Esterhuizen.
That meeting was aimed at creating community awareness regarding economic, social and environmental impacts of illicit trafficking in wildlife products and to enhance the protection of endangered species such as the rhino, as well as to encourage the public in that area to report illegal activities related to wildlife trade to appropriate authorities for investigation and prosecution.