On January 4th 2017, Chinese Ambassador to Namibia Mr. Qiu Xuejun met with the representatives of Namibian Chamber of Environment (NCE) led by its CEO, Dr. Chris Brown and exchanged ideas on environment and wildlife protection.
Ambassador Qiu said the Chinese government holds a long-standing and clear-cut position on the protection of endangered wildlife species like elephants and rhinos, etc. As a contracting party of Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), China persists in cracking down on illegal trade of endangered species and their products, and takes the attitude of "zero tolerance" towards those crimes by bringing any offenders to justice. China enacted Wild Animal Conservation Law in 1989 and amendments were made in 2004, 2009 and 2016 to meet the needs of new situation, which laid the solid legal base for wildlife protection. According to China's State Council notice on December 30th 2016, China will phase out all ivory processing and trade in all designated workshops and marketplaces by the end of 2017, with the first step to end such business in some designated places by March 31. The decision came after the country imposed a three-year ban on ivory imports in March 2016 in an escalated fight against illegal trading of wild animals and plants. Besides the legislation, China is also making unremitting efforts to protect wildlife by enhancing institution building, trade management, law enforcement, capacity building and public involvement.
Ambassador Qiu pointed out that the Chinese Government firmly supports the Namibian Government in protecting its unique environment and wildlife resources, and fighting against poaching and illegal trafficking across its borders. The Embassy strongly condemns those crimes and supports law enforcement activities carried out by Namibian law enforcement departments. The Embassy keeps good contacts with NAMPOL to crack down on those crimes and has organized extensive education campaigns among Chinese nationals in Namibia to raise their awareness about that as well as the familiarity and compliance of Namibian laws and regulations.
Ambassador Qiu emphasized that over the years Chinese communities in Namibia have been making important contributions to Namibia in terms of developing local market, setting up businesses, creating jobs, promoting technology transfer, paying taxes, so as to promote poverty eradication and make positive contributions to the nation-building efforts of Namibia. The vast majority of Chinese nationals living and working in Namibia respect and comply with Namibian laws, regulations, culture and customs, upholding the principle of good faith, and their legitimate rights and interests will continue to be protected. It should be noted that law offenders are just a few in number, and the isolated cases should by no means be exaggerated to jeopardize the deep friendship and close cooperation of our two countries and two peoples. The Embassy appreciates the positive role played by NCE and other NGOs in Namibia in wildlife protection and hopes it could work constructively with the Embassy in dealing with the issues of wildlife protection.
Dr. Chris Brown expressed his thanks to Ambassador Qiu for the meeting and the hope to enhance its communication and cooperation with the Embassy in the field of wildlife protection.