Windhoek, Namibia –The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Namibia inaugurated an anti-poaching patrol camp on 4 November 2017, together with the Ministry of Environment and Tourism in Namibia and the Embassy of Japan in Namibia.
Built in the country’s flagship national park, the new anti-poaching patrol camp will help Namibia progress in its fight against poaching and in conserving of wildlife. Through UNDP Namibia, Yahoo! JAPAN contributed five million Japanese Yen (approximately 44,000 USD) to co-finance the camp, materializing the company’s belief in the importance of biodiversity protection and species conservation and the intolerance against illegal trading of wildlife and any trading that is legal under current laws and policies but might lead to poaching or extinction of species. UNDP is proud of this innovative partnership with Yahoo! JAPAN, which established UNDP’s first global Public Private Partnership with one of the leading internet companies in Japan.
Over 20,000 elephants were reported killed by poachers in Africa in 2015 alone, and over 1,300 rhinos in 2013. The fight against poaching of elephants and rhinos has been one of the biggest public concerns in Namibia.
Since 2014, the Government of Namibia and its Ministry of Environment and Tourism, with the support of UNDP and funding from the Global Environment Facility (GEF), spearhead a four-year anti-poaching campaign to strengthen capacity in the country’s 21 protected areas. The project called “Strengthening the Capacity of Protected Area System to Address New Management Challenges” (PASS) includes Etosha National Park, where it helped provide training and equipment to game patrols.
The new patrol camp, built with 71,000 USD co-financed by Yahoo! JAPAN and the PASS project, has fully equipped systems for water provision and solar power generation. The camp will house game patrol units, rangers, and community members who participate in anti-poaching patrol activities. The improvement in camping facilities will strengthen the ability of park patrol teams to prevent further poaching.
During her remarks at the inauguration, the UNDP Resident Representative in Namibia, Ms. Kiki Gbeho, highlighted the importance of collective action by government, private sector and the international community towards a common goal to strengthen institutions, to combat the illicit trafficking of wildlife and improve livelihoods, especially for marginalized communities.
H.E. Hideyuki Sakamoto, Ambassador of Japan in Namibia, said he was honored to have facilitated this unique collaboration between the private sector, the UN and the Government of Japan; and expressed hope that this collaboration would contribute to enhancing the tourism industry in Namibia by attracting a larger number of Japanese tourists.
Hon. Minister of Environment and Tourism, Pohamba Shifeta stated that wildlife, especially rhinos and elephants, has a high ecological and economic value and can become a driver for the economy. The Minister recognized the tireless efforts made by anti-poaching patrol teams in the field, and appreciated that development partners support Namibia’s fight against poaching.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) widely recognize and support the protection of life on land and biodiversity. Active participation of the private sector on the global issue is encouraged.
UNDP Namibia continues to work to further strengthen private sector partnerships with the aim to support developing countries to implement development initiatives and peace contribution activities.