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The Ministry of Environment, Forestry, and Tourism's Executive Director says poaching of rhinos and elephants in Namibia has decreased significantly over the years. 

This year, Teofilus Nghitila says 48 rhinos and eight elephants were poached.
Nghitila says this year's poaching statistics are better compared to 2018, when 84 rhinos and 27 elephants were poached. 

He attributed the poaching reduction to the measures they have put in place. 

"Our colleagues in the North East continue to undertake successful operations intersecting those illegal poachers coming from neighbouring countries with ivory, and we have so far three success cases involving those poachers, and we impound them, and I congratulate them for the hard work and due diligence and help from the community, so that really demonstrates that poaching is coming to an end in Namibia.

Nghitila also gave a stern warning to poachers, saying the law will deal with them if caught. 

"I am warning those who want to be poachers to be fair warned that attempting to commit wildlife crime will not pay you in Namibia. Those days are over because we are well equipped and ready. There is no way that you will get away with this crime, especially during this festive season. Our law enforcement is across the country ready to ensure that we protect our wildlife, so don't make any mistake; you will spend your Christmas in custody."

This year, the ministry also hosted a national conference on human-wildlife conflict management, which brought stakeholders together to seek solutions. 

"Resolutions were adopted at the conference and also approved by the cabinet. The Cabinet directed that the ministry develop a concrete strategy and action plan to deal with these resolutions. The implementation plan is now in place as we speak, and we will start with the implementation of the strategy."

He says the ministry is looking at ways to come up with an insurance scheme for human-wildlife conflict incidents. 

"We are also engaging with Nasira so that we have a national functional insurance scheme to address these challenges because these are challenges that are unique, and therefore we need to have a long-term sustainable solution to deal with this situation."

Since 2019, the Ministry of Environment has paid out over N$31,7 million in offsetting losses caused by HWC.

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nbc Digital News

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July Nafuka