WINDHOEK – China House, an organisation with its headquarters in Kenya, recently held a wildlife conservation awareness campaign with 123 Chinese nationals from five different companies in Namibia.
The aim of the campaign, according to Zoe Huang and Yitong Amy Tang, was because Namibia has over the years been affected by an upsurge in elephant poaching that has implicated some Chinese nationals working in cahoots with some Namibian nationals.
“Chinese nationals were arrested with rhino horns and so on,” said Zoe.
As a result, the Chinese community in Namibia rallied and organised a wildlife conservation campaign to send out a signal that most of the Chinese business community are “conscious about wildlife conservation,” and they are law-abiding and don’t condone poaching. The Chinese business community is also eager to create a positive impact, as could be attested by the huge amounts of money that Chinese business people and their government have funneled to assist Namibia to buy equipment for its anti-poaching drive.
“This was the first Chinese wildlife conservation campaign across all major companies in the country,” said Zoe.
In addition, Zoe and Yitong said that they discovered two problems concerning wildlife conservation among the Chinese business community.
Most of the Chinese nationals are not very aware on wildlife conservation in Namibia, said the duo. “They don’t know what is illegal,” the two wildlife campaigners said in unison.
They also specified to them what is legal and what is not and told them to stay away from people who will be selling them wildlife products, and especially products made of ivory, pangolin, rhino horn and turtle.
These are the products that Chinese nationals here are involved in, they added.
Also, they re-emphasised to Chinese nationals here that this year China effected a ban on all ivory products from entering that country.
BBC news reported in January this year that China has been one of the world’s biggest markets for ivory. However, as of 2018, all trade in ivory and ivory products in the country is illegal. The move is being hailed as a major development in efforts to protect the world’s elephant population, BBC reported.
Wildlife campaigners believe 30,000 African elephants are killed by poachers every year, according to the BBC report.
It was also reported that there has been a 65 percent decline in the price of raw ivory over the past year. Likewise, there has also been an 80 percent decline in seizures of ivory entering China. “So Chinese nationals can’t buy any ivory products,” Zoe and Yitong explained. China House is the first Chinese organisation in Africa that focuses on the integration of Chinese in Africa and has been working with the Chinese Embassy in Namibia.