WINDHOEK: Namibia, joined by Botswana, has submitted a proposal to transfer the population of southern white rhinoceros of Namibia from Appendix I to Appendix II specifically to allow for trade in live animals for conservation purposes and trophy hunting only.
This was revealed by Romeo Muyunda, the spokesperson for Namibia’s Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism on Wednesday in a statement as Namibia participated at the 19th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP19) to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). According to Muyunda, Namibia and Zimbabwe have also submitted requests that mechanisms be created to enable rural communities to participate in CITES decision-making processes, as rural communities, even though they are custodians of wildlife, suffer the burden of living with wildlife and yet they are largely excluded from CITES decision making processes. Namibia will support a proposal submitted by Zimbabwe to allow trade in raw ivory from the elephant populations of Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe, he added. “Additionally, Namibia will oppose the adoption of proposals that by principle are not compatible with the country’s conservation policies,” he said.
Meanwhile, there are several documents on the agenda regarding the conservation and management of lions, elephants, and rhinoceros that are not in conformity with Namibia’s national policies, which Namibia will not support, Muyunda noted. The CITES COP19 opened in Panama’s capital on Monday with a call to action at this crucial time for humanity and measures to protect species and recover the balance in nature.