Comic book contest focuses on Namibian conservation efforts

Cash prizes of up to N$50 000 up for grabs
Schools now have the opportunity to showcase their creativity with a comic contest held by the Legal Assistance Centre.
Jeanette Diergaardt
Government and private schools are invited to enter a comic book competition whose themes are focused on wildlife conservation and the prevention of wildlife crime, the legal and social impact of wildlife crime, the illegal harvesting of protected plant species and/or timber, as well as the sustainable management of natural resources in the context of ensuring community livelihoods.

Learners aged between 14 and 18 are encouraged to take part in this endeavour. Schools are welcome to submit multiple entries.

"It is always wise to seek guidance from your teachers and involve your community," advised Christian Mahnke from the Legal Assistance Centre.

The competition opened on 1 August and will run until 31 October, which is the submission deadline.

Duty to protect

Participating schools are urged to align their entries with the Sustainable Development Goals, specifically SDG 4, SDG 14, and SDG 15. These goals emphasise the importance of addressing environmental and wildlife-related crimes.

An expert panel comprising individuals with backgrounds in environmental, legal, and educational fields will assess the entries.

The announcement of all winners is scheduled for early December.

"The Namibian state has the duty to protect the welfare of its people by maintaining ecosystems essential to economic processes and the biological diversity of Namibia and to utilise the living and natural resources on a sustainable basis and for the benefit of all Namibian citizens, present and future," Mahnke explained.

The competition also aims to raise awareness among schools about the prevalent illegal wildlife activities, including the illegal sale of wildlife products without a permit. Individuals caught in illegal possession of rhino horns and ivory can face fines of up to N$15 million.

Additionally, the competition seeks to educate the public about the role of the Traditional Authority Act in ensuring that its members utilise natural resources sustainably.