WINDHOEK, May 7 (Xinhua) — Namibia’s conservation model has enabled the elephant population to expand from just over 7,500 in 1995 to 24,000 at present, the Namibian president said.
Hage Geingob revealed at the Kasane Elephant Summit held in Botswana, adding that the biggest potential threat to the Namibian elephant population is the loss of habitat due to cyclical periods of drought.
Another problem area is fragmentation of range and rising incidences of human-elephant conflict, the president said.
“We are aware that these challenges are not unique to Namibia and exist within all member states. We therefore welcome the developed Elephant Management and Planning Framework, which will assist Partner States to manage their elephants as one contiguous population through a harmonized approach,” said Geingob.
Geingob added that Namibia continues to exercise strict control over ivory stocks. However, stocks continue to accumulate, by an average of 4.5 percent per annum, primarily through natural mortality.
“We express concern over the cost and security implications of holding large ivory stocks and reiterate our favourable stance towards legal international trade of ivory, from which proceeds would be utilized to support elephant conservation and programs,” said Geingob.