Namibia has opposed the international pressure against trophy hunting, arguing that such a ban will have a negative impact on the country’s conservation efforts.
Namibia is one of the world’s most successful wildlife conservation stories, with many stable or endangered animal populations increasing in numbers.
However, dozens of European parliamentarians and conservation groups have called on the regulator of global wildlife trade to ban all trophy hunting of rhinos, elephants and other endangered animals.
The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) bans all commercial trade in more than 1 000 species of animals and plants considered to be endangered, listed under its so-called Appendix I.
Information minister Stanley Simataa yesterday said Cabinet took note of the increasing international pressure against trophy hunting.
However, Simataa argued that if the ban is allowed, it will have a negative impact on Namibia’s conservation efforts.
He highlighted some of the benefits that come from trophy hunting.
Simataa cited benefits derived from conservation such as income generation, job creation, rural electrification, water infrastructure and schools constructed and upgraded in Namibia.
“If trophy hunting, which is a source of income, is banned then those benefits will cease,” he said.
Equally, he feels once banned, the human-wildlife conflict will worsen, as people will not see the need to co-exist with wildlife.
He said Cabinet supports the Ministry of Environment and Tourism to implement a trophy hunting campaign to counter the pressure from the international community.
Cabinet, therefore, endorsed a Namibian campaign to promote conservation hunting and its benefits to local communities and the broader environment.
Furthermore, Cabinet directed the Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation to circulate the information (Namibia strategy) to Namibian missions abroad to sustain the campaign.
Moreover, Cabinet directed the environment ministry to engage and form partnerships with other Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries with the view to counteract international pressure against trophy hunting.
Environment and tourism spokesperson Romeo Muyunda echoed Simataa that the ministry will implement the strategy as directed by Cabinet.
“Trophy hunting remains reputable. We will abide by the wildlife management that the ministry has by ensuring trophy hunting is conducted through research. Any of the off-takes is based on available game counts to inform our quota setting,” Muyunda noted.
Muyunda maintained that the ministry will promote ethical hunting within the sector where they are trying to remove bad elements such as bad ethical hunting.