Do not support illegal trade in wildlife: Nambahu

04 Jun 2016 12:10pm
WINDHOEK, 04 JUN (NAMPA) - Namibians should not to buy animal products from suspected illegal sources, Deputy Minister of Environment and Tourism Tommy Nambahu warned on Friday ahead of World Environment Day celebrations set for Sunday.
He said the illegal wildlife trade generates between N.dollars 5 billion to N.dollars 20 billion annually.
“The greatest thing you can do to help end the illegal wildlife trade is to stop buying wild animal products form suspected illegal sources.
“Given the high potential pay-off for sale of wildlife parts, poachers will do whatever it takes to kill, even if that it means killing humans as well, with recent cases recorded in many countries,” said Nambahu.
Businesses and individuals involved in such crimes are motivated exclusively by short-term gain at the expense of long-term benefits to communities and habitats. In many cases, they act in complicity with worldwide-organised crime networks and groups. As the supply of these animals drops, the price tag for their goods rises.
He was speaking at a World Environment Day event organised by University of Namibia (UNAM)’s Environmental Society (UNES) under the theme ‘Zero tolerance for the illegal trade in wildlife’.
Nambahu noted that the rate at which wild animals are disappearing from the planet is shocking.
The deputy minister said three rhinos are killed every day to treat illnesses, particularly in Asian countries, while one million pangolins have been traded in the past 10 years for their scales, also for healing purposes.
At the same event, UNAM Student Representative Council (SRC) President Victoria Shipale expressed concern that many plant and wildlife species will go extinct in Namibia if citizens do not take care of the environment.
“How will it be if we and our generations only see photographs of the Welwitschia plant?” asked Shipale.
The Welwitschia Mirabillis, a “living fossil”, is endemic to the Namib desert. The lifespan of the plant is between 400 and 1 500 years.
She also called on the youth to participate in such events to create awareness about destruction caused by the illegal trade in wildlife as well as other environmental concerns.