Increased poaching demands elephant census, says Masebo

Minister of Tourism and Arts Silvia Masebo has expressed concern over the increasing levels of poaching of various animals especially elephants.

Masebo says that there is need to stop the vice because it was disadvantaging the country as many species would be extinct.

Speaking in Livingstone on Saturday afternoon on her arrival from Maputo where she was attending a SADC tourism and environment conference for ministers, Masebo said that poaching was one of the issues that was tabled during the conference.

She said that she had realised that poaching of many species and wild animals especially elephants had become a major challenge within the region and Zambia is not speared.

“This is my return from Maputo where we had a meeting for SADC ministers where talked about wildlife and water. And I must state that the main issue which came out as a region is the increasing poaching levels which Zambia is not spared.

The Zambian delegation was led by me and we had Luckson Kazabu from the Ministry Of Mine, Water and Energy and we looked at the status of forestry and fisheries among countries within the region in the region.

What I learnt is that we all face the same challenge in the region especially poaching in search of ivory and the reduction of fisheries was also another issue which was brought to the attention of the ministers. We also tried to collaborate on issues of policies, conventions and protocols,” ,” Masebo said.

The Zambian tourism minister further described the just-ended SADC ministers meeting for tourism and environment as successful.

She expressed hope that the region would learn from each other on how to handle the challenges which were raised.

She added that the manner of poaching in the region has changed from traditional methods to using a drug called N999 as reported from Zimbabwe where poachers poisoned some elephants and removed some ivory.

“As a region we agreed to speak one voice if we are to start trying to trade in ivory. But for Zambia, we need to do a survey on the number of elephant Zambian has before we engage into that. As a region we will have a common position on the matter,” She said.