Shifeta stands firm over ivory trade

NamStay

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Source: https://www.republikein.com.na/nuus/shifeta-staan-vas-oor-ivoorhandel2020-11-23/


Shifeta stands firm over ivory trade

Elephant population currently believes 24,000


"Elephants are part of the natural resources of Namibia over which we have full sovereignty and there is a limit to how much external interference we will accept in the use of this resource."

The Minister of the Environment, Forestry and Tourism, Mr. Pohamba Shifeta, last week expressed his displeasure over animal rights groups influencing the decisions on the legal trade in ivory at the Convention on Trade in Endangered Species (Cites).

Shifeta was the guest speaker at a two-day workshop on the national elephant conservation and management plan in the capital last week.

"The trade in ivory is currently severely hampered by the actions of animal rights groups that influence Cites' decisions. It undermines Namibia's conservation programs, ”Shifeta emphasized.

"TOLERANCE TESTED"

"For how long this will still be the case, it is unclear, but our tolerance is being seriously tested."

According to the minister, the most important reward (apart from, among other things, conservation hunting) is the value of elephants that can be generated from the ivory trade.

Shifeta says Namibia has large accumulated valuable game products such as ivory that can be sustainably produced and thoroughly regulated if traded internationally.

"The legal trade in ivory can support elephant conservation and management for decades," he says.

The former permanent secretary and current consultant for the ministry, dr. Malan Lindeque, confirmed this and said with the income from the ivory of only natural elephant deaths, decent fences can be erected for farmers to keep elephants out of their farms.

"There are communal farmers who have suffered huge damage to fences and water infrastructure in some cases of more than N $ 200 000," Lindeque said.

"We are in favor of a collective approach to the regulation of international trade, but ultimately we must act in the interests of conservation and the rural people who are so important in determining the fate of elephants in the long term," Shifeta emphasized. .

He says elephant conservation and management cannot happen without the involvement of the people who live most closely with elephants. The workshop aimed to discuss the design of the elephant conservation and management plan.

"In Namibia, elephants are not limited to protected areas and share land with rural communities. "Elephant conservation must be a win-win situation for people to endure elephants in the long run," says Shifeta.

According to Lindeque, the four largest problem areas for elephant conflict are Kamanjab / Otjikondo and Ugab / Omatjete in the Northwest and Northeast at Kavango / Mangetti and the conservation areas of Nyae-Nyae and N ‡ a Jaqna.

However, there are concerns about the dwindling elephant populations in certain parts of the North West due to the drought and elephant conflict, says Lindeque, as well as about the veterinary fence of Botswana that blocks 99% of elephant movements in the Northeast.

According to Lindeque, Namibia's growing elephant population currently stands at around 24,000.



The original version in Afrikaans below:




Shifeta staan vas oor ivoorhandel

Olifantbevolking tans glo 24 000


“Olifante is deel van die natuurlike hulpbronne van Namibië waaroor ons volle soewereiniteit het en daar is ’n beperking op hoeveel eksterne inmenging ons sal aanvaar in die gebruik van hierdie hulpbron.”

Die minister van die omgewing, bosbou en toerisme, mnr. Pohamba Shifeta, het verlede week sy ergenis uitgespreek oor diereregtegroepe wat die besluite oor die wettige handel in ivoor by die Konvensie vir die Handel in Bedreigde Spesies (Cites) beïnvloed.

Shifeta was verlede week die gasspreker tydens ’n tweedaagse slypskool oor die nasionale olifantbewaring- en bestuursplan in die hoofstad.

“Die handel in ivoor word tans erg deur die optrede van diereregtegroepe gekniehalter wat die besluite van Cites beïnvloed. Dit ondermyn Namibië se bewaringsprogramme,” het Shifeta beklemtoon.

‘VERDRAAGSAAMHEID GETOETS’

“Vir hoe lank dit nog die geval gaan wees, is onduidelik, maar ons verdraagsaamheid word ernstig getoets.”

Volgens die minister is die belangrikste beloning (buiten onder meer bewaringsjag) die waarde van olifante wat uit die handel in ivoor gegenereer kan word.

Shifeta sê Namibië het groot opgehoopte waardevolle wildprodukte soos ivoor wat volhoubaar geproduseer en deeglik gereguleer kan word as daarmee internasionaal handel gedryf word.

“Die wettige handel in ivoor kan olifantbewaring en –bestuur vir dekades lank ondersteun,” sê hy.

Die voormalige permanente sekretaris en tans konsultant vir die ministerie, dr. Malan Lindeque, het dit beaam en gesê met die inkomste uit die ivoor van slegs natuurlike olifantsterftes, kan vir boere ordentlike heinings opgerig word om olifante uit hul plase te hou.

“Daar is kommunale boere wat reuseskade aan heinings en waterinfrastruktuur in sommige gevalle van meer as N$200 000 gely het,” het Lindeque gesê.

“Ons is voorstanders van 'n kollektiewe benadering tot die regulering van internasionale handel, maar uiteindelik moet ons optree in die belang van bewaring en die landelike mense wat so belangrik is om die lot van olifante op die lang termyn te bepaal,” het Shifeta benadruk.

Hy sê olifantbewaring en –bestuur kan nie gebeur sonder die betrokkenheid van die mense wat die nouste saam met olifante leef nie. Die slypskool het ten doel gehad om die ontwerp van die olifantbewaring- en bestuursplan te bespreek.

“In Namibië is olifante nie slegs tot beskermde gebiede beperk nie en deel grond met landelike gemeenskappe. Olifantbewaring moet ’n wen-wen-situasie vir mense wees om olifante op die lang termyn te verduur,” sê Shifeta.

Volgens Lindeque is die vier grootste probleemgebiede vir olifantkonflik Kamanjab/Otjikondo en Ugab/Omatjete in die Noordweste en in die Noordooste by Kavango/Mangetti en die bewaringsgebiede van Nyae-Nyae en N‡a Jaqna.

Tog heers daar kommer oor die kwynende olifantbevolkings in sekere dele van Noordwes weens die droogte en olifantkonflik, sê Lindeque, asook oor die veterinêre heining van Botswana wat 99% van olifantbewegings in die Noordooste blokkeer.

Namibië se groeiende olifantbevolking staan volgens Lindeque tans op sowat 24 000.
 

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Congrats to Shitefa and Namibia for standing tall.....................FWB
 

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I think they should handle the ivory situation as they see fit. If Namibia wants to open international trade, go for it. It is their business and no one else's. It will benefit the country, the native people and be a boon to hunters and conservationists.
 

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