Wild animal smuggling in the spotlight

13 January 2020 | Environment

The smuggling of wild animals (the fourth-largest illegal trade in the world!) is motivated by massive gains from illegal international trade of species – an act that is steadily increasing due to globalization and market expansion in which the internet plays a significant role as an intermediary between offers and demand.
Of the large number of reptiles trafficked every year, many are directed to international pet markets, including collectors who keep exotic animals in private zoos as status symbols. Some special ones even make it all the way to the world reptile shows.
Apart from the financial gains involved in the such trades, there are real problems at hand (i.e. the massive suffering, species extinction, introduction of invasive species, loss of biodiversity, destruction of entire ecosystems and undermining the countries effort to protect their natural resources) as a result of the unjust and anthropocentric abuse of power by humans.
On Monday 27 January during a public talk at the Namibia Scientific Society, Kandali Iiyambo takes a closer look at the issue, highlighting how Namibia is involved in the smuggling of reptile species across the globe, aided through the international airports in Namibia (Hosea Kuutako International Airport and Walvis Bay International Airport).
Iiyambo is a part-time lecturer at the University of Namibia in the department of biological sciences. She holds an MSc in Zoology (with specific reference to Herpetology) from the University of Pretoria and a BSc in Environmental Sciences from University of Namibia.
She has a particular passion and a broad knowledge of reptile diversity in and around Namibia. She has extensive knowledge and experience as a researcher acquired during her tenure at Gobabeb Research and Training Centre.
Her interest extends from conservation biology, indigenous knowledge systems, innovations and practices and she enjoys to link her zoological and environmental academic profession with cultural heritage to better understand how colonial pasts and technology continue to influence cultural heritage practices in everyday livelihoods of a youth generation for national economic and cultural independence.
The presentation takes place at 19:00 at the Scientific Society and entrance is free.