Namibia Highlights Importance Of World Wildlife Day

5 Mar 2024

The annual World Wildlife Day (WWD) on 03 March 2024 was honoured in New York at the United Nations headquarters while Namibia reflected on successes against poaching.   

This year's theme "Connecting people and planet: exploring digital Innovation in wildlife conservation” aptly emphasises the increasing role of digital technology to support nature conservation. 

The Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), with partners such as the UN Development Programme (UNDP), International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), Jackson Wild and others, hosted the WWD 2024 event.

Namibia's Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism (MEFT) toned that World Wildlife Day provides an opportunity to create awareness and education on the significance of wildlife, both animal and plant species.

Biodiversity and habitat loss resulting from human activities coupled with climate change have become is a global concern,” its spokesperson Romeo Muyunda stated.

Namibia commemorated World Wildlife Day.
Graphic: MEFT

 

“Another huge challenge to our wildlife is poaching, particularly that of high valued endangered species such as rhinos, elephants and pangolins. Recently, we have also noted a growing trend in plant poaching in the country”, he noted.

The country lost 631 rhinos in the last nine years, 97 rhinos were poached in 2015, 66 in 2016, 55 in 2017, 84 in 2018, 61 in 2019, 48 in 2020, 53 in 2021, 92 in 2022, 67 in 2023 and so far, eight this year. Namibia has also recorded ten elephants poached in 2021, four in 2022, eight in 2023 and so far, none this year. During the same period Namibian authorities have significantly uncreased protection and security measures for these animals.

 According to Muyunda, in 2023 a total of 50 cases related to rhino and elephant poaching were registered with 139 suspects arrested. Law enforcement agencies has also seized 16 firearms and impounded 14 vehicles from the suspects.

“This should send a clear message that those who choose to get involved in these crimes will be caught and made to face the full wrath of the Namibian law, MEFT noted.

It receives continued support from civil society, private sector, the Namibian Police, the Namibian Defence Force, and the national central intelligence service.

 Brigitte Weidlich

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