Elephant poaching could skyrocket after Covid

04 October 2021 | Environment

ELLANIE SMIT

WINDHOEK

Once the world gets the Covid-19 pandemic under control, poaching of elephants could skyrocket again because of the accumulated demand for ivory in the world's black markets.

Daniel Stiles, an independent investigator who specialises in illegal trade in wildlife and wildlife products, warns that a recent rise in black-market prices for ivory in Vietnam and China are disturbing signs.

He says this in a report that forms part of a series by the Global Initiative against Transnational Organised Crime (GI-TOC).

In this report, market dynamics as well as the trade prices of illegal wildlife and wildlife products are examined.

Stiles says although elephant poaching rates have reached their lowest point since 2003, that could all change within the next two years as there is still a strong demand for ivory.

Logistics

He says Covid travel restrictions have reduced the movement, shipping and flying of illegal products.

"On the other hand, the pandemic also had a devastating impact on wildlife conservation due to the collapse of foreign tourism and hunting activities, which were important sources of money for national protected areas as well as in game parks and private or community conservation areas.”

Additionally, funding of anti-poaching activities has been cut, creating opportunities for poachers as it reduced security measures.

He believes America and Europe may gain control of Covid-19 by next year, while the rest of the world could have a grip on the virus by 2023 - either through vaccinations or other measures.

"The seizure of more than 500 kg of ivory worldwide in 2019 is also the highest since 2013. However, these figures collapsed in 2020 due to Covid-19 restrictions."

In 2019, the largest quantities were seized in China, including Hong Kong (10.7 tonnes), Vietnam (10 tonnes), Singapore (9 tonnes), Uganda (4.7 tonnes), Kenya (1.6 tonnes), Zimbabwe (1.5 tonnes) and Namibia (1.4 tonnes).

Stiles said the Chinese have to some extent lost interest in buying ivory as an investment.

According to him the sale of national ivory stocks has further drastically reduced the black-market price.

Supply and demand

At the same time, the break-up of transnational criminal networks in East and Southern Africa has led to the relocation of ivory poaching and illegal trade activities to West and Central Africa.

“However, numerous seizures of ivory as well as consumer surveys show that there is still a strong demand for ivory in East Asia. The sale of national ivory supplies in both Africa and China has apparently suppressed the ivory price and, with it, elephant poaching since 2015.”

Statistics provided by the environment ministry in Namibia indicate that by August this year, only four elephants had been poached in comparison to the 12 elephants killed by poachers last year.

In 2014, when poaching started increasing in Namibia, 78 elephants were killed, peaking at 101 poached elephants in 2016.

Since then, there has been a decline in the number of poached elephants with 50 poaching cases reported in 2017, 27 in 2018, and 13 in 2019.

The ministry has attributed the decline in poaching to increased law enforcement activities against wildlife crimes.

Similar News

 

EIF reaccredited by Green Climate Fund

5 days ago - 18 October 2021 | Environment

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEKThe Environmental Investment Fund (EIF) has been reaccredited by the Green Climate Fund (GCF) for a further five-year period.The initial five-year accreditation lapsed in...

Woman encourages others with eco-friendly products

5 days ago - 18 October 2021 | Environment

ESTER KAMATIWINDHOEKWilma Garises is a Swakopmund resident who turns trash into treasure by upcycling plastic into useable and unique bags.“My parents have always taught me...

Poaching, wildlife conflict connected

1 week ago - 15 October 2021 | Environment

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEKThe connections between poaching and human-wildlife conflict in conservancies are a significant local conservation concern.Meanwhile, poaching is compromising the ability of local communities to...

N$92m injection against wildlife crime

1 week ago - 14 October 2021 | Environment

ELLANIE SMIT WINDHOEKWhile recent statistics indicate that Namibia is winning the battle against both...

Mining should not be allowed to destroy water resources

1 week ago - 13 October 2021 | Environment

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEKAgriculture minister Calle Schlettwein says mining activities that have the potential to destroy water resources through pollution or depletion should not be allowed.Schlettwein was...

Lions, hyenas poisoned in Kunene

1 week ago - 12 October 2021 | Environment

ELLANIE SMIT WINDHOEKA man was arrested on Sunday after he confessed to poisoning...

US envoy for climate visits Namibia

2 weeks ago - 05 October 2021 | Environment

STAFF REPORTERWINDHOEKA United States delegation focused on climate change and clean energy last week met with Namibian government officials and civil society to encourage a...

Elephant poaching could skyrocket after Covid

2 weeks ago - 04 October 2021 | Environment

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEKOnce the world gets the Covid-19 pandemic under control, poaching of elephants could skyrocket again because of the accumulated demand for ivory in the...

Concerns stack up about uranium mining

2 weeks ago - 04 October 2021 | Environment

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEKProposed uranium mining activities near Leonardville have the potential of not only polluting drinking water, but also affecting the environment for at least 30...

Namibia wants to join Water Convention

2 weeks ago - 04 October 2021 | Environment

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEKNamibia intends to accede to the Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (Water Convention).This comes as more and...

Latest News

Heimstädt steering road safety

1 day - 22 October 2021 | Business

Rivaldo KavangaHorst Heimstädt is the CEO of the Namibia Road Safety Forum, a private organisation which does extensive work in the Southern African Development Community...

FNB to strengthen its support...

1 day - 22 October 2021 | Business

PHILLEPUS UUSIKUProparco, a private sector financing arm of Agence Française de Développement Group (AFD Group), granted a EURIZ portfolio guarantee of N$ 68 million to...

Learners don maize sacks for...

1 day - 22 October 2021 | Education

TUYEIMO HAIDULA OSHAKATI Learners at Omuthiyagwiipundi Combined School in Omuthiya are forced to wear maize sacks each time they misbehave at...

Itula changed, says suspended Smith-Howard

1 day - 22 October 2021 | Politics

Staff Reporter WINDHOEKSuspended Independent Patriots for Change (IPC) Swakopmund constituency councillor Ciske Smith-Howard says her party leader, Dr Panduleni Itula, has become...

The face of the southern...

1 day - 22 October 2021 | People

Michelline Nawatises Victoria Ndemupa Muhuura was born in Wavis Bay. She attended at Andimba Toivo ya Toivo Secondary School in the Oshana Region, and...

Zozo’s Leather: Your dream product

1 day - 22 October 2021 | People

Rivaldo Kavanga Celesty Cupido worked in the tourism industry and realised over the years that many Namibian accommodation establishments do not showcase or sell...

Rising like a phoenix

1 day - 22 October 2021 | Business

Mariselle StofbergWilhelmine Mutorwa has used every opportunity she is given to become the best version of herself. For Wilhelmine Mutorwa, giving up has never been...

Africa calls for climate finance...

1 day - 22 October 2021 | Economics

ALESSANDRA PRENTICEAfrican countries want a new system to track funding from wealthy nations that are failing to meet a US$100-billion annual target to help the...

EDITORIAL: We are guilty of...

1 day - 22 October 2021 | Opinion

A lot needs to be discussed in our country – from race and sexual rights to abortion. The country can’t stop talking, even when such...

Load More