5 January 2018

Namibia: Ivory Ban Will Boost Illegal Trade - Shifeta

ENVIRONMENT minister Pohamba Shifeta yesterday said the Chinese government's ban on trade in ivory will only make the black market for rhino horns and elephant tusks more lucrative.

Shifeta said this after China's ban on ivory trading, announced last year, took effect on New Year's Day.

Asia, particularly China, has been reported as the biggest market for elephant tusks and rhino horns, which are popular for traditional medicinal purposes and the carving of icons.

Al Jazeera reported that the ivory ban is considered a step in the right direction in conserving rhinos and elephants.

Shifeta, however, said the ban would only increase the price of ivory, and cause the black market to boom.

"What we want to see is stricter measures taken with regards to security and the monitoring of illegal ivory and rhino horn trading.

Our fear now is that this would only make the black market more lucrative. This is not a solution. It was not a question of banning legal trade, but curbing illegal trading," the minister stressed.

He added that government has an ivory stockpile which could be sold on the international market, and the proceeds ploughed back into the country's conservation efforts, but expressed concern that this might now be jeopardised.

"Criminals will now get more money, and those who used to buy ivory legally will be encouraged to get it elsewhere; unless loopholes used to get the ivory and rhino horns into the market are closed," he said.

The Namibian Professional Hunting Association (Napha) was quoted by international media as stating that the ban will not address the poaching of rhinos and elephants, but nonetheless called for the ban to be widened to include other endangered species.

Namibia

Neckartal Dam Ready to Collect Water

THE Neckartal Dam is ready to collect water, even though it is only set for completion in mid-July this year. Read more »

Copyright © 2018 The Namibian. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 600 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.