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An Analysis Of Poaching In Etosha National Park, Namibia

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Environmental security has emerged as one of the important concepts in security studies in 1960s. It includes social, economic and environmental dimensions such as struggle over natural resources, food security, unemployment, environmental crime among others. Poaching is one of environmental crime that poses a threat of endangered species extinction. Since then, new policies and legislations has been introduced to deal particularly with environmental crimes such as International Environmental Laws, Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), Centre for Environmental Law (CEL), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Southern Africa Development Community Protocol on Wildlife Conservation and Law Enforcement among others, geared towards the protection of environment.

To address environmental issues adequately, the Namibian government creates the ministry known as the Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET) with obligation among others to promote biodiversity preservation through sustainable exploitation of natural resources and tourism advancement. The government has also enacted environmental laws such as Nature Conservation Ordinance Act, Act No 4 of 1975, Environmental Management Act, Act No 7 of 2007 among others. Despite this effort, a number of environmental crime are still committed and a number of endangered species such as rhinos and elephants in Namibia particularly in Etosha National Park are still threatened, which prompt this study.

Generally, there is an explicit link between the environmental crime and national security. This was supported by the findings of this study that when environmental crime (poaching) increases, a number of tourists who visit Etosha National Park decreases. This triggers the Ministry of Environment and Tourism and other Ministries and Agencies through Interpol, Protected Resources Unit of the Namibian Police and the Namibian Defence Force to intensify anti-poaching technique in Etosha National Park to cope with this phenomenon.

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Alan Collins underscores that security incorporates dangers that span from epidemics (such as HIV/AIDS), environmental degradation through to the more readily related security concerns of absolute aggression, such as terrorism and inter-state armed conflict. While war and the intimidation of the use of force is the part of security balance, it is not absolutely so. According to Makumi and Okello security was basically regarded traditional and military focused. However, in early 80s it took a different dimension whereby it incorporated other factors. This was prompted by the fact that international organizational commissions such as World Commission on Environment and development (WCED), nongovernmental organization such as World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and scholars such as Brown developed a new concept refining and defining security. The new concept of security includes social, economic and environmental dimensions. According to the new concept, a range of factors such as struggle over natural resources, food security, unemployment, environmental crimes and others are regarded as security issues.

Human existence depends on nature conservation, natural resources such as the atmosphere, soil, water, forest, plants, and life forms that these supports . It is estimated that the number of known species on the planet is about 1.4 million but that far more are not documented, possibly the total is roughly 12 million comprising of insects and smaller creatures . These two versions are that the environment is delicate as far as existence of human kind is concerned. This is so because since the security concept was refined, new policies and legislations were introduced such as International Environmental Laws, convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), Centre for Environmental Law (CEL), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Southern African Development Community Protocol on Wildlife Conservation and Law Enforcement among others, geared towards the protection of environment. International Law became evident in 20th century in which London Convention Relative to Preservation of Faunan and Flora, was introduced in 1933, which was later on replaced by African Convention on the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. One of the basic legal foundations of environmental protection is the Declaration of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment at Stockholm in 1972.

The government of Republic of Namibia has dedicated environmentally related issues to the ministry which is known as the “Ministry of Environment and Tourism” (MET). The mission of the ministry is to advance biodiversity conservation in Namibian environment through balanced exploitation of natural resources and tourism growth for the maximum social and economic advantage of all its citizens. The mandate of MET encompasses the environmental security. In order to fulfill the mandate, the government has enacted the environmental law on 27 December 2007 known as “Environmental Management Act, Act No 7 of 2007”, which succeeded Nature Conservation Act, Act No 4of 1975. One of the objectives of the succeed Act is to promote the balanced management of the environment and the exploitation of natural resources by establishing standards for decision making on matters affecting environment. According to the Act, environment is defined as the multifaceted of natural and anthropogenic and components that are mutually related and affect the biological stability and the quality of life it includes: The natural atmosphere that is the land, water and air, all organic and inorganic material and all living organisms and the human ecosystem that is landscape and natural, cultural, aesthetic, economic and social heritage and value. It is worth mentioning here that the environmental dilemmas are seems as national security threat for they appear in ecological forms such that they harm the physical base of the state, perhaps to a sufficient extent to intimidate its idea and foundation. This relationship is discussed in detail in Chapter 3.

Environment-based conflicts such as poaching are normally originates from access or non access to natural resources. Classic examples are: the Gulf war over oil in 1991 and in Kenya Tana River over disputed land and water rights in 2001. Although access or non access to natural resources sometimes causes conflicts, Berkes and Adhikari stressed that “numerous trusts with the community level have been branded by successful community-based conservation cases, including business enterprise affiliation”. Though their version is correct, it is equally my observation and understanding that there can also be alarming consequences such as lack of conservation management skills and transparency of financial management arising from these arrangements which usually threaten national security.

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An Analysis Of Poaching In Etosha National Park, Namibia. (2022, September 15). Edubirdie. Retrieved February 8, 2023, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/an-analysis-of-poaching-in-etosha-national-park-namibia/
“An Analysis Of Poaching In Etosha National Park, Namibia.” Edubirdie, 15 Sept. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/an-analysis-of-poaching-in-etosha-national-park-namibia/
An Analysis Of Poaching In Etosha National Park, Namibia. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/an-analysis-of-poaching-in-etosha-national-park-namibia/> [Accessed 8 Feb. 2023].
An Analysis Of Poaching In Etosha National Park, Namibia [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Sept 15 [cited 2023 Feb 8]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/an-analysis-of-poaching-in-etosha-national-park-namibia/
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