Ban on trophy hunting could end conservancies: Shifeta

05 Aug 2015 07:40am
WINDHOEK, 05 AUG (NAMPA) – The ban on trophy hunting and the shipping thereof will have dire consequences, not only for the Namibian economy, but also for her renowned conservation efforts.
The Minister of Environment and Tourism, Pohamba Shifeta at the inauguration of the Game Products Trust Fund (GPTF) raised this concern after airlines enforced a ban on transporting such products following the killing of the protected and now famous lion, Cecil in Zimbabwe last month. Pressure is mounting for a ban on the import of hunting trophies to the European Union (EU) and the United States of America (USA).
“This will be the end of conservation in Namibia. These anti-trophy hunting campaigns are very serious as many countries are joining the chorus now. It will also be uphill for the hunter if trophies are not to be shipped,” he said while speaking at the event here on Tuesday.
Namibia received the 2012 CIC Markhor Award for her outstanding conservation performance. More than 80 registered Namibian conservancies depend largely on trophy hunting. Trophy hunting concessions provided the second highest source of income for conservancies, generating more than N.dollars 13.9 million in 2010, of which 80 per cent was from concession fees and salaries, and 20 per cent from meat distribution.
By the end of 2010, a total of 33 concessions extending over 34 conservancies had been allocated to professional hunters. Trophy hunting can be an important source of funding for conservation efforts.
“Conservancy members are managing natural resources wisely and are reaping the benefits. If conservancy members have no income, they will abandon their role in protecting the country’s natural resources,” Shifeta noted.
Meanwhile, three United States (US) airlines said that they will no longer ship items of lion, leopard, elephant, rhino or buffalo origin killed by trophy hunters, in the latest fallout from the killing of Cecil.
During May this year, the world's largest airline, Emirates issued an outright ban on hunting trophy cargo, sending the hunting industry into a tailspin, as Namibian neighbour’s national carrier, South African Airways (SAA), also issued a temporary embargo. SAA has since overturned its decision. British Airways then also issued a statement affirming its standpoint against the transportation of hunting trophies of endangered species.