Government Calls on Namibians to Assist in Fight against Poachers – Reward Doubled

reward doubled

The Ministry of Environment and Tourism, together with the Protected Resources Unit of the Namibian Police, has increased the offer for a reward of N$30 000 to N$60 000, to any member of the public that will provide information that will lead to the arrest of poachers of wildlife, and more specific, Rhinos and Elephants in Etosha National Park and elsewhere.

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The Minister of Environment and Tourism, Pohamba Shifeta, made the announcement at a press conference yesterday, and called on “the entire nation” to assist government in this fight.

“Unprecedented levels of rhino and elephant poaching across Africa, and Namibia is no exception, are being experienced and these threaten the future of these species and the ecosystem they inhabit.

This  situation demands a review and update of our current strategies and measures to curb illegal hunting. As poaching groups increase in size, number and sophistication, it is more important than ever that law enforcement responses are robust, reliable and effective.

Wildlife trafficking is a million dollar criminal enterprise that has expanded to more than just a conservation concern. The increasing involvement of organised crime in poaching and wildlife trafficking promotes corruption, threatens peace, strengthens illicit trade routes, destabilises economies and communities that depend on wildlife for their livelihoods.”

He asked Namibians  to be vigilant in preserving the country’s  precious wildlife by reporting suspicious activities to the Ministry of Environment and Tourism or the Namibian Police Force.

Last year, 2014, 24 rhinos were poached. This year, already 60 rhinos have been poached in the country. Seventy-eight elephants were poached in 2014, and 23 elephants have been poached so far this year.

“We have worked and continue to work with the Namibian Police Force and Namibian Defence Force in putting boots on the ground and intensifying our patrols and we continue to improve on this. Today we have the presence of the members of the Namibian Police Force on the ground in Etosha National Park, Bwabwata National Park and Palmwag Tourism Concession Area. Aerial patrols are also being conducted by the Namibian Police Force and the Namibia Defence Force.”

The Minister says, as many of Namibia’s National Parks are surrounded by Conservancies, they are actively conducting joint patrols with the conserancies in curbing wildlife crime, particularly rhino and elephant poaching. He says the government continues to invest more resources in combating illegal hunting of rhinos and elephants.

“The situation can be described as a priority crime and therefore more resources need to be invested in our efforts to stop these illegal activities. While field patrols remain an essential element of law enforcement operations, if their effectiveness is to be optimized, they need to be complemented by investigations and intelligence-led operations. In this regards, we have an active collaboration with the Namibian Police Force in investigating these cases of poaching. “

He says Investigations continue in all areas where they have had the illegal hunting of our rhinos and elephants. For the Etosha National Park and Palmwag Tourism Concession Area cases, they have suspects that they are following, and it is only a matter of time before they are arrested.

 

Source: ministry of environment and tourism

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