The increased demand for illegal wildlife products calls for a collective international effort to end poaching as the illegal activity undermines Namibia's conservation actions. says Deputy Minister of Environment and Tourism Tommy Nambahu.

Addressing a conference in Vietnam on the illegal wildlife trade last week, he said the unsustainable trade deprived nations, including Namibia, of their natural capital and cultural heritage, which consequently undermined sustainable development.

Nambahu made reference to the conservation of species like rhinoceroses, African elephants and pangolins, which are highly trafficked illegally because of the alleged medicinal benefit from parts of their body.

A total of 103 rhinoceroses were poached over the last 10 years in Namibia, according to figures issued by the Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET) in June this year. According to the MET, 68 rhinoceroses and 23 elephants were killed by poachers in 2015 alone.

In a copy of his speech made available by the MET here, Nambahu noted that with Namibia's conservation programme underpinned by strong community involvement, these communities remain an important stakeholder in the protection of wildlife and deserve to benefit from the natural resource.

He said a community is granted rights to benefit from wildlife by using them in a sustainable manner through consumptive and non-consumptive ways such as hunting and eco-tourism.

Both forms generate jobs and earn communities an income, while poaching does not create jobs and infringes communities of any possible benefits.