Namibia is set to finalize the amendments to the Nature Conservation Ordinance No. 4 of 1975 and the Controlled Wildlife Products and Trade Act of 2008 to ensure that those convicted of poaching will receive both stiffer fines and sentences, according to an official.

The Minister of Environment and Tourism, Pohamba Shifeta said the ministry will further strengthen its efforts in effective crime prevention and law enforcement.

According to him, these will be realized through coordinated and integrated activities such as security planning, monitoring and adaptive management; a strong and effective presence on the ground, dedicated investigation units that focuses on criminal and poaching syndicates and organized crime.

Pohamba Shifeta also commended those involved in the fight against poaching such as the Namibian Police, Game Reserve personnel, communities and farmers for effective collaboration that led to the successful arrests of a number of heavily armed suspects between Sept. 2 and 4.

"All these successful arrests have been made possible with the good collaboration and cooperation that exist among stakeholders," he said.

Following the black rhino that was poached at Erindi Private Game Reserve last week, four suspects were arrested in connection with the incident.

According to the minister, all arrested suspects in this regard were heavily armed and the Namibian police and other stakeholders acted swiftly and professionally to avoid a violent encounter during the arrest.

"I am confident that if we move in this direction together we will be able to break the syndicates involved in poaching and ultimately bring the poaching levels down or to a complete halt," he added.