05 Feb 2019 15:10pm
WINDHOEK, 05 FEB (NAMPA) Namibia has a total population of 3 000 white and black rhinos that need to be protected from ongoing poaching, Deputy Minister of Environment and Tourism (MET), Bernadette Jagger has said.
Speaking at the 13th International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) African Rhino Specialist Group meeting at Gross Barmen on Tuesday, Jagger said the increasing wildlife trafficking demands full attention and collective efforts to develop new strategies and implement current strategies and measures to turn the tide.
She highlighted that Namibia experienced it worst year of poaching in 2015 when 97 rhinos were poached, adding that since then the country has lost an average of 50 rhino annually to poaching.
Wildlife trafficking has become a multimillion-dollar criminal enterprise that has expanded to more than just a conservation concern. It promotes corruption, threaten species and destabilises economies as well as communities that depend on wildlife for their livelihoods, she said.
Jagger noted that the government and rhino owners continuously have to innovate and collaborate to keep poaching levels down.
We need to work together to save these 2 000 black and 1 000 white rhinos in order for the next generation to see them at country of birth and not in some other countries because they are extinct due to poaching, she stressed.
The aim of the week-long IUCN meeting is to come up with solutions in order to continue growing the rhino population in the world, Senior Conservation Scientist in the ministry, Piet Beytell said.
The meeting, which started on Tuesday and ends on Sunday, is attended by 45 specialists from countries including Angola, South Africa, Tanzania, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho and host Namibia.
IUCNs mission is to promote the development and long-term maintenance of viable populations of the various sub-species of African rhino in the wild.
Membership consists of official country representatives from the main African rhino range states and other specialists.