Namibia is working with several countries to combat increased elephant poaching in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region, Namibian Press Agency NAMPA reported.
“Globally, poaching for ivory is on the increase. We are working with staff from conservation authorities in Botswana, Zambia and Angola to fight elephant poaching in SADC,” said Environment and Tourism Minister Uahekua Herunga recently.
Herunga was speaking at the inauguration of national park infrastructure and the launch of an integrated development plan for the Namibian component of the Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservancy Area (KAZA TFCA).
Namibia, Angola, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe are partner countries to ensure that the KAZA TFCA is developed as a sustainable conservation and a tourism development programme to provide social and economic benefits to these countries.
Herunga said that by working together on joint patrols and information sharing, countries are sending out a strong message to poachers and would-be poachers that poaching will not be tolerated.
The KAZA TFCA supports large herds of elephants and buffalos, rare and endangered roan and sable antelopes and African wild dogs.
The Bwabwata National Park in north east Namibia constitutes an important corridor for animal movement within the greater region in Namibia and surrounding countries.
Figures by the Ministry of Environment and Tourism shows 78 cases of elephants poaching were reported last year compared to six this year.
Two cases of poaching were reported in Bwabwata National Park and one in Namibia’s Mudumu National Park in Caprivi Region and three outside the park.
|Fast facts about Elephant poaching:|
|Estimated number of elephants poached each year||8% (36 000)|
|During 1979-1989 Africa’s elephant population was halved||1.3 million to 600 000|
|Worst recorded year for elephant poaching||2011 (More than 24 tonnes of ivory)|
|Elephants range in Africa that is protected in parks and reserves||Less than 20%|
A total of 23 suspects were arrested and 106 elephant tusks were confiscated this year.
Date: 7 August 2013