By Volodymyr Lakomov
THE Namibia Fish Consumption Promotion Trust (NFCPT), through its Corporate Social Responsibility Programme, has donated N$150 000 to assist the Ministry of Environment and Tourism with its efforts combat escalating cases of poaching across the country.
During the handover in Windhoek recently, both Environment and Tourism Minister, Pohamba Shifeta, and Deputy Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Dr Chief Samuel Ankama, stressed the importance of raising awareness around the unprecedented escalation of poaching incidents in Namibia.
The donation is to be used to raise public awareness about wildlife protection, human conflict and protected area management.
The NFCPT said it wanted to assist the Environment and Tourism Ministry efforts in combating poaching.
“The issue of poaching, although it is a global challenge, has to be fought locally,” Ankama said, in a speech he read on behalf of his senior in the ministry, Bernhardt Esau.
“The efforts made by the Namibia Fish Consumption Promotion Trust must be emulated, to ensure that we continue telling the beautiful story of Namibia’s wildlife.”
The donation symbolises the cooperation between government institutions, in an effort to reduce the threat of the illicit hunting of the critically endangered species in Namibia.
“The NFCPT has once again shown us, how much we can achieve as a country, once we join our forces,” Shifeta said.
He assured that the funds will be used prudently, that they remain in good hands and that they will be used as part of efforts to resolve Namibia’s poaching problem “once and for all”.
The NFCPT is a vehicle ordained by the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources to promote the harvesting and consumption of Namibia’s fish products in a sustainable and socially responsible way.
This is not the first time the organisation has set aside funds to donate towards a worthy cause.
In October 2016, the NFCPT was able to donate N$700 000 for the improvement of quality of education in rural areas throughout country.
According to their 2016/17 annual report, handed out at the same event, the NFCPT recorded a N$10 million deficit this year, while in the preceding financial year it recorded a N$9 million surplus.
In its latest annual report, the trust indicated that the main reasons for the financial turnaround was that less cash was received from customers, while more was paid towards suppliers and employees.
The NFCPT donation towards anti-poaching efforts comes as Namibia finds itself on the edge of a crisis, with its rhino, elephant and other wildlife populations under increasing threat from international criminal syndicates, which are shipping illicit animal products to Vietnam, China and Thailand.
Namibia holds approximately 28 percent of the world’s remaining 5 000 black rhino. With the growing incidents of poaching in 2017, these critically endangered animals may be wiped out by 2020, leaving Namibia and the rest of the Southern African region without a magnetising source of tourism income.
The reason why poaching is a never-ending problem, is due to the consistent demand for rhino horns in countries like Vietnam and China.
Despite these countries signing international memorandums against poaching, their black markets still serve as a tremendous arena for horn trafficking.
In Southeast Asia, the rhino horn serves as a luxurious commodity with multiple utilities. In China, the rhino horn is used as a vital ingredient in traditional medicine, believed to be capable of curing severe illnesses.
In Vietnam, the powder from rhino horns is believed to possess the power to immediately detoxify body from alcohol, and also serves as a party drug and as a mystical tonic for good health.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015