In collaboration with:
Article origin: . ’Article Link’
Consequence if Project does not get any attention:
Pangolins are in danger worldwide because of illegal trade driven by Asian markets. Pangolins are thus listed as Appendix I species on CITES (Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species), which prohibits all trade and trafficking of this species. If this illegal international trade is not controlled and stopped, Pangolins will be in grave danger of extinction.
In collaboration with:
Name of Project:
The conservation of Pangolins in Namibia
Type of Project:
Tackling illegal trade in Pangolins
Goal of Project:
To reduce and stop the illegal catching, killing, trafficking and smuggling of Pangolins in Namibia
Estimated time it will take to complete the Pangolin Project:
Total Funds it will take (estimate):
N$ 600 000.00
Follow up Projects after completion of the project:
Any follow-up project will be based on and designed around the monitoring of results of this phase of the project. Throughout the life of this phase of the project, data will be collected on key indicators which will be used for adaptive management and fine-tuning of the project objectives and activities.
Contact Profile of Organisation running the project
Namibian Chamber of Environment (NCE)
Dr Chris Brown, CEO of NCE
email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Partners in the Project
Ministry of Environment & Tourism, www.met.gov.na, Namibia’s communal conservancies and their NGO support organisations under NACSO (Namibia Association of CBNRM Support Organisations), www.nacso.org.na
Introducing the Project
Pangolins are believed to be the most trafficked mammals in the world. The biggest demand for pangolins is in Asia, especially China. The main reason is that the scales, made of keratin like our fingernails, hair and rhino horns, are used in traditional Asian medicines and for ornaments and charms. The scales have no medicinal properties. It is an Asian myth that causes huge environmental damage and threatens the survival of these species. Pangolin meat is also sold at high prices in Asian restaurants.
Pangolins have walked the earth for 80 million years. They are insectivores and are harmless to people.
They just do good for our environment. They eat ants and termites - millions and millions - as many as 70 million per pangolin per year. That’s about 191,780 insects per day! Imagine an area that is home to 15 pangolins. Those animals alone would eat as many as 1.05 billion insects annually. As you can imagine from these figures, pangolins help to control insect numbers, contributing to the delicate balance of the ecosystems they inhabit.
From a farming perspective, 1 billion insects such as termites could consume about 105,000 kg of grass per year – equivalent to the amount of grass that would feed 30 cows or 430 Springbok for a year. Farms with a healthy population of 15 Pangolins could generate about N$300,000 more income from cattle or wildlife. At the national level, the impact of reduced grazing from termites because of the removal of Pangolins could be as much as N$600 million per year.
The Reason why this Project is important
Without this project, the illegal capture, killing, trade, trafficking and smuggling of pangolins, their skins and scale, will escalate and the survival of the species will be put at risk. This project, therefore, aims to
Article origin: . ’Article Link’
Dr Chris Brown, Namibian Chamber of Environment writes:
I am not a hunter. Nor have I ever been. I am a vegetarian (since the age of about 11), I am part of the environmental NGO sector and I have interests in the tourism industry in Namibia.So, it might surprise you that I am a strong supporter of the hunting industry in Namibia, and indeed, throughout Africa. Having said that, I should qualify my support. I am a strong supporter of legal, ethical hunting of indigenous wildlife within sustainably managed populations, in large open landscapes. The reason is simple. Well-managed hunting is extremely good for conservation. In many areas, it is essential for conservation.
And then there is the animal rights movement. I have sympathy for people who stand up for animal rights – I think we all should. None of us want to see animals suffering or being treated badly by members of our species. But a problem arises when animal rights agendas are passed o as conservation agendas. Animal rights agendas are not conservation agendas. Conservation works at the population, species and ecosystem levels. Animal rights works at the individual level. And what might be good for an individual or a collection of individuals might not be good for the long-term survival of populations, species and biodiversity.
Take a simple domestic example. When the farm carthorse was replaced by the tractor, carthorses no longer had to work long hours in the fields. But they also no longer had a value to farmers.
Once common, they are now extremely rare. Indeed, carthorse associations have been established to keep these breeds from dying out. e truth is, if animals do not have a value, or if that value is not competitive with other options, then those animals will not have a place, except in a few small isolated islands of protection. And island protection in a sea of other land uses is a disaster for long- term conservation.
Animal rights are important. But for wildlife they must be placed within a sound conservation setting, where conservation decisions on behalf of populations, species and ecosystems take priority over the rights of individual animals.
The wildlife situation in Namibia provides a very good example of this. When the first western explorers, hunters and traders entered what is now Namibia in the late 1700s, crossing the Orange/Gariep River from the Cape, the national wildlife population was probably in the order of 8-10 million animals.
Over the following centuries wildlife was decimated and numbers collapsed, first by uncontrolled and wasteful hunting by traders and explorers, then by local people who had acquired guns and horses from the traders, then by early farmers, veterinary policies and fencing, and finally by modern-day farmers on both freehold and communal land who saw wildlife as having little value and competing with their domestic stock for scarce grazing. Traditional wildlife management under customary laws administered by chiefs had broken down under successive colonial regimes. By the 1960s wildlife numbers were at an all-time low in Namibia, with perhaps fewer than half a million animals surviving
At that time wildlife was “owned” by the state. Land owners and custodians were expected to support the wildlife on their land, but they had no rights to use the wildlife and to derive any benefits from wildlife. In response to declining numbers and growing dissatisfaction among farmers, a new approach to wildlife management was introduced. In the 1960s and 1990s conditional rights over the consumptive and non-consumptive use of wildlife were devolved to freehold and communal farmers respectively, the latter under Namibia’s well known conservancy programme. The laws give the same rights to farmers in both land tenure systems.
This new policy led to a total change in attitude towards wildlife by land owners and custodians. Wildlife suddenly had value. It could be used to support a multi-faceted business model, including trophy hunting, sport hunting, meat production, live sales of surplus animals and tourism. It could be part of a conventional livestock farming operation, or be a dedicated business on its own. As the sector developed, farmers discovered that they could do better from their wildlife than from domestic stock.
The numbers of both small and large stock declined on commercial farmland while wildlife numbers increased. Today there is more wildlife in Namibia than at any time in the past 150 years, with latest estimates putting the national wildlife herd at just over three million animals. And the reason is simple: in our arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid landscapes wildlife is an economically more attractive, competitive form of land use than conventional farming. Markets are driving more and more farmers towards wildlife management. is is good for conservation, not just for the wildlife but also from the broader perspective of collateral habitat protection and biodiversity conservation. e greater the bene ts that land owners and custodians derive from wildlife, the more secure it is as a form of land use and the more land is under conservation management. Therefore, all the component uses of wildlife, including trophy hunting in particular, must be available to wildlife businesses.
Why especially trophy hunting? Because there are large areas of Namibia comprising at terrain and monotonous vegetation that are unsuited to tourism but very important for conservation.
There are some people in the more elitist tourism sector in Namibia and in our neighbouring countries who oppose trophy hunting because it is perceived to conflict with tourism and is thus not good for conservation. These tourism operators and guides are naive and wrong. The greatest threat to wildlife conservation, in Namibia and globally, is land transformation. Once land is transformed, often for agricultural purposes, it has lost its natural habitats, it has lost most of its biodiversity and it can no longer support wildlife. Hunters and tourism operators should and must be on the same side – to protect natural habitats, biodiversity and wildlife. they are natural allies. They need to work together to ensure that land under wildlife derives the greatest possible returns, through a multitude of income earning activities. And with a little planning and close collaboration it is easy to optimise all aspects of wildlife management and use – both consumptive and non- consumptive – without one having a negative impact on the other. It is also the vital task and duty of tourism operators and guides to educate visitors from urban industrialised countries about conservation in this part of the world. Visitors need to understand what drives conservation, the role of incentives, markets and what is meant by sustainable management. e tourism sector should not skirt around the uncomfortable discussion about hunting, but face it head-on and explain its importance for conservation.
If we look for a moment at the conservation trajectory of a country such as the United Kingdom (an urban industrialised example) during its agrarian and industrial development, the indigenous wildlife at that time had no value. us it lost the elk, bear, wolf, lynx, beaver and sea eagle – essentially its most charismatic and important species. While small-scale attempts to reintroduce a few of the less threatening species are underway, it is unlikely that the bear and wolf will ever be reintroduced into the wild. And yet that country and others like it, with poor conservation track records, are keen to influence how Namibia should manage its wildlife.
Their own farmers are not prepared to live with wolves, but many of their politicians and conservation agencies, both public and non-governmental, expect Namibian farmers to live with elephant, hippo, buffalo, lion, leopard, hyena, crocodile and many other wildlife species which from a human-wildlife conflict perspective are far more problematic than a wolf. And they try to remove the very tools available to conservation to keep these animals on the land – the tools of economics, markets and sustainable use, to create value for these animals within a well-regulated, sustainably managed wildlife landscape.
Article origin: Namibian Chamber of Environment. ’Article Link’
DEAR friends and colleagues,
At about 14h30 on 21 December 2016, this letter was delivered to the Chinese embassy in Windhoek by the Namibian Chamber of Environment, on behalf of 40 Namibian environmental organisations.
Namibia's citizens and environmental organisations are outraged by the ongoing commercial wildlife and ecological crimes committed by Chinese nationals in Namibia. We are equally frustrated by the apparent lack of action being taken by the Chinese embassy in Namibia and the Chinese state to put a stop to the unlawful actions of their nationals. Quiet, behind-the-scenes diplomacy has failed to have any discernible impact.
While we deplore xenophobic attitudes and the profiling of people, too many Chinese nationals have abused Namibia's environmental laws and values, and this is causing growing resentment and anger amongst Namibians. Before the arrival of Chinese nationals in Namibia, commercial wildlife crimes were extremely uncommon. By their criminal actions, some Chinese nationals have drawn attention to themselves and their nationality through their blatant disregard of Namibia's legal and environmental values.
Namibia's environmental non-governmental community, therefore, decided to send this open letter to the Chinese ambassador to Namibia, explaining the extent of the problem, and expressing our concern and outrage. We also want the Namibian nation to be aware of this action, and for our friends and colleagues around the world to understand the situation that we are facing.
We believe that this is not simply individual Chinese nationals working independently, but syndicates linked to international organised crime. We also find it hard not to believe that some of these actions are not taking place with tacit state approval, or taking place with knowing state indifference.
For these reasons, we have shared this letter widely with local and international media houses, with diplomatic missions to Namibia, with international environmental organisations around the world, with ministers and permanent secretaries in key Namibian ministries, and via social media. Please help by forwarding the attached letter to your networks and via social media.
Our open letter has come at the perfect time – when the Chinese are objecting to our senior officials – minister of environment and tourism and inspector general of the Namibian Police – about clamping down on Chinese involvement in poaching.
It is unbelievable that the Chinese embassy takes sides against the people who are trying to stop the poaching, rather than against the poachers, and those creating local economic incentives for commercial poaching. I think that this pretty much says it all in terms of China's position on environmental issues.
Article origin: The Namibian. ’Article Link’
It's now legal to trade rhino horn in South Africa after the highest court in the land lifted an eight year ban on a technicality.
The domestic sale of rhino horn will be allowed to resume, but only with a permit and only within the country's borders.
There's not traditionally been much demand for rhino horn in South Africa, so there a question mark over just how much of an impact the ruling will have.
The biggest market for rhino horn is Asia, and an international treaty still prevents its export and sale to many countries.
But some big conservation organisations, such as the WWF, believe it will encourage the illegal trade, which causes the poaching of more than a thousand South African rhinos a year.
To trade or not to trade?
The Private Rhino Owners' Association, which backed the court challenge against the 2009 moratorium on the rhino horn trade, is delighted and believes it will help conserve the protected species.
To trade or not to trade? - be it rhino horn or ivory - is one of the big questions which divides the world's conservationists and wildlife protection groups.
And it's complicated.
"We as the private sector bought and own a third of the national rhino herd - more than 6,500 black and white rhinos," said Pelham Jones from the Private Rhino Owners' Association.
"We have a huge vested interest in their conservation and have spent billions of rand protecting and managing our herd - 'sustainable utilisation' is in the constitution," he said.
And what he means is private owners want to remove and sell rhino horn to fund their conservation - and also to make profit.
Article origin: By Alastair Leithead, BBC News, Africa correspondent. ’Article Link’