UK offers to assist Namibia in efforts to protect its endangered wildlife

UK offers to assist Namibia in efforts to protect its endangered wildlife

The United Kingdom has offered to assist Namibia in efforts to protect the country’s endangered wildlife.
Uk’s Minister for Africa and the Middle East, Tobias Ellwood hailed Namibia’s communal conservancy program but says poaching, which is on the rise in Africa, is a concern.
He made the offer during a courtesy call on President Hage Geingob in London on Thursday.
Illegal hunting of endangered species is a sad reality in Namibia where poaching of rhinos and elephants has been on the increase.
Just last week, a Chinese national was nabbed by South African authorities for smuggling 18 Rhino horns, believed to have been poached in Namibia.
This latest act further confirms long held suspicions that the black market for illegally poached horns and elephant tusks is thriving in Asia at the expense of Africa’s wildlife.
The British law-maker says they are willing to support Namibia in its anti-poaching efforts.
The assistance can include funding, technical expertise and targeted programs that could look at alternative sources of income for communities as opposed to illegal hunting.
The protection of wildlife in Namibia is non-negotiable due to immense contribution it makes to government coffers through tourism.
But, poaching is not only the inconvenience and a thorn in a flesh that government has to deal with.
Recently, Namibia and Zimbabwe failed to convince a UN Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species to be allowed to export ivory as a way to protect rather than further endanger Africa's elephants.
President Geingob says as a result the country is now sitting with confiscated stockpiles that could otherwise be sold and money invested back into strict anti-poaching programs.
The Head of State further emphasized to the British Minister that any support in the battle against poaching is welcome.
He said Americans, who are mostly interested in trophy hunting, also pledged to aid government with drones to be used in protected areas.
Elephant populations are sadly declining across Africa, with Tanzania estimated to have lost around 60 percent of its population to poaching.
But Namibia still rises above as latest counts indicate that it has about 22 000 elephant species compared to 7 000 counted 26 years ago.