SADC chair blasts West over elephant management plans

APA-Gaborone (Botswana)

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Chairman and Namibian President Hage Geingob on Tuesday shot a broadside at the West over how the region should manage its elephant population.

In his closing remarks at the just ended elephant summit held in Botswana, Geingob said " we should not be a victim of our own success in  conversation and the West must humble itself and learn conservation from  us instead of lecturing us on what we ought to do." 

He  added that "I listened this morning to all the experts lecturing us and  I wanted to ask where they come . If they are from Europe or the US, I  wanted to ask them how they destroyed all their elephants, but come to  lecture us." 

He noted that elephants in Namibia and the region were in safe hands.  

According to the SADC leader,  conservation efforts in his country have been successful because of the  effective policies and laws that were put in place. 

He said in 1995,  they had only 2000 elephants but the number has since grown to 40 000.   Geingob said elephants present various challenges such as loss of habitat and human-wildlife conflict.

Zimbabwean  leader Emmerson Mnangagwa said "the one size fits all approach from  CITES of banning everything disregards the good efforts of our governments and is neither sustainable nor advisable". 

For  his part Zambian President Edgar Lungu noted that the region has a chance to influence the landscape in a way that future generations will be proud  of.


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