30 Oct 2013 16:10pm
SWAKOPMUND, 30 OCT (NAMPA) The conservation and sustainable utilisation of natural resources is very important for Namibia, including trophy- hunting and the harvesting of wildlife.
This was the view of Foreign Affairs Minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, who is also a former Minister of Environment and Tourism, during the 2013 Adventure Travel World Summit (ATWS) on Tuesday.
We cannot remain without trophy-hunting. Based on the Namibian constitution, we are a nation committed to conservation.
Unfortunately, you find some people, when we talk about harvesting, they think we are destroying our wildlife. That is not the case, she stressed.
She then pointed to statistics on elephant populations, which show that the tachiderms grew from 7 500 in 1996 to the current 16 000.
Nandi-Ndaitwah said when people feel threatened, they have to protect themselves.
In monitoring wildlife, communities in conservancies can thus determine their movements and then plan the harvesting of such animals.
For conservation success, conservancies and national parks in the country implemented a book-monitoring system to keep an eye on wildlife populations.
Nandi-Ndaitwah boasted that Namibia is a leader in this regard, with many countries in Africa, Asia and the Americas having followed suit.
Namibia is also one of Africas success stories in the recovering of her wildlife species; is the cheetah capital of the world; and a country known for protecting rhinos.
It is also the only country in Africa which translocates black rhinos out of national parks to communal areas.
The number of black-faced Impala has also increased over the years.
The minister, however, raised the concern that some countries, especially the United States of America (USA), do not allow trophies of the black-faced Impala species to enter that country.
I will continue to fight with them in my capacity as Foreign Affairs Minister to allow trophies from this species to enter their country. If we do not harvest, how are we going to live? The sustainable utilisation of natural resources is only meaningful when people are benefitting, she noted.
Nandi-Ndaitwah was amongst a number of local speakers who gave an insight into conservation, community development and tourism.
The ATWS commenced on Tuesday, and ends Thursday.