May 18, 2018
WINDHOEK: Namibia’s minister of environment and tourism, Pohamba Shifeta,
said assistance from China in protecting wildlife and combating poaching
especially in Namibia’s national parks have been a success.
“Our Chinese counterparts are doing exceptionally well. They have donated
equipment as well as funds for protection of wildlife in our country,” he
told Xinhua in a recent interview.
“Some of the funds have been used to deploy more officers to patrol the
areas that are known for poaching, and equipment donated by the Chinese are
also already in use,” he said.
The official said China-Namibia cooperation in wildlife protection also
includes exchanging experiences in conservation promotion and preservation
of national heritage.
“We refer to this as being a good mutual partnership. Now I can safely say
that China has contributed massively towards wildlife protection in the
country. And we as Namibians must always make good use of what we are
offered,” Shifeta said, adding that China has also recently donated
wildlife protection materials including pick-up vehicles, tents, sleeping
bags and mosquito nets.
Namibian officials said last year that for the first time in years, Namibia
recorded a decrease in the poaching of rhinos and elephants, and that
Namibia’s elephant population had showed a continuous growing trajectory.
Since 1988, Namibia has created 82 communal conservancies covering nearly
20 percent of the country’s area and encompassing approximately 189,000
community members, or almost 10 percent of Namibia’s population. Formed and
run by local people, these conservancies offer protected space for wild
animals outside official protected areas.