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SCI Foundation has written a number of articles on poaching and specifically the crushing of ivory. Many differ on their opinions of having an ivory crush. The debate waivers on if it’s an effective awareness tool or a counterproductive practice that creates more harm than good.
With poaching being such a heated issue, it often pushes countries to fall in line for ivory crushes, in fear of being condemned. However, Namibia has chosen to stand up for itself and do what it believes is best for its country. A recent National Geographic article reported that Namibia said it will not destroy its ivory and rhino horn stockpile.
Speaking to a Namibian newspaper, the minister said that “burning of ivory and rhino horn is against our policy.” Article 95 of country’s constitution, he said, “clearly stipulates how Namibians should benefit from their natural resources as long as they do it sustainably.”
Namibia prides itself on its government programs that direct wildlife revenue back into communities. If trade in ivory or horn is lifted, Namibia will receive huge profits that they hope can go toward alleviating poverty.
Still, some believe that legal trade will only perpetuate Africa’s poaching problem and many push for Namibia to crush its stockpiles, even though the benefits of a crush remain unseen.
One thing is for sure, whether it’s through awareness events such as the ivory crush or through grassroots programs; governments, wildlife non-profits and the private sector must join together in the fight against poaching. If not, it won’t matter if you are pro crush or pro legal trade, you will no longer have a product to argue about.