17 Apr 2016 14:20pm
OPUWO, 17 APR (NAMPA) A ban on trophy hunting products by the European Union (EU) will not only translate into an increase in wildlife crime, but will also affect the war against poverty eradication.
This is the view of the members of the Kunene Regional Community Conservation Association (KRCCA).
The European Parliament on 24 February 2016 had a discussion on trophy hunting, which concluded that Europe needs to be a key player in the fight against wildlife crime globally. There was also a call for a complete ban on trophy hunting imports into the EU or for current legislation to be tightened, according to international reports.
The KRCCA held a peaceful demonstration at Opuwo on Friday, during which they handed a petition over to the Opuwo Urban Constituency Councillor, Weich Mupya.
The petition is to be channelled through the relevant offices of members of the European Parliament and calls for a reconsideration of the possible ban of trophy hunting products to Europe.
Our livelihoods will be disrupted by such a ban and we can't sit idle, the chairperson of the KRCCA, Gustav Tjiundukamba said.
According to him, conservancies have managed to prevent poaching of elephants and black rhinos in the region, all thanks to funds generated through trophy hunting to pay game guards.
Without game guards we would be helpless, he told Nampa.
The KRCCA also argues that some parts of the Kunene Region are dry and unattractive to tourist and community development, and thus survive solely on trophy hunting.
The request of the association to the EU is for the body to visit these conservancies and see how conservation has contributed to the increase in wildlife, as well as how the income generated from trophy hunting has changed lives.
We would also like to speak in person with representatives of the EU as the affected communities, the petition reads.
Mupya, who sympathises with the group, promised to channel the petition as requested.
The KRCCA is a representative of 29 communal conservancies in the Kunene Region.