Hunting: Botswana remains strong under fire from EU and SADC

Written by: Oscar Nkala 

Tshekedi Khama, Botswana’s Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, says his country is under unprecedented pressure from the pro-hunting lobby in the European Union and regional neighbours to allow lift the hunting ban imposed in 2014.

Addressing a press conference in the northern city of Maun this week, Khama said unlike its regional peers, Botswana remained ‘resolute’ in opposing trophy hunting and captive breeding as well as calling for an end to the ivory trade.

“Botswana remains resolute in supporting the ending of the ivory trade. We have stopped hunting (since 2014), but our neighbours still undertake trophy hunting and practice captive animal breeding.

“Our policy against wildlife hunting is working, that is why wildlife is relocating from neighbouring countries to Botswana. But now, the pro-hunters want to follow the wildlife here. As Botswana, we supported the ending of the ivory trade because we believe that getting rid of the trade will wipe out the markets too ,” Khama said.

He said Botswana’s opposition to hunting and captive breeding, demonstrated by its support for the upgrading of elephants and lions from Appendix 2 to Appendix 1 of the Convention on Trade In Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora (CITES) protection status at the recent COP-17 Summit in Johannesburg, was premised on the country’s stance against illegal wildlife trade and poaching. Botswana requested that it’s elephants be upgraded to Appendix 1 when the Resolution for the upgrading of all Southern African Elephants to Appendix 1 failed.

Khama said Botswana supports photographic tourism as it had realized that the policy was more beneficial to conservation than trophy hunting. During the CITES Summit, Botswana broke ranks with Southern African Development Community (SADC) members Zimbabwe and South Africa, which supported limited ivory trade and called for a total shutdown of the ivory trade.

The EU opposed Botswana and sided with pro-hunting SADC member states because, as a bloc, it supported the hunting and trade in African wildlife regardless of whether the species were endangered or not, Khama said.

Further, Khama accused neighbours Zambia and Zimbabwe of failing to fulfill their obligations in the development of the Kavango-Zambezi Trans-Frontier Park (KAZA), which is a regional initiative meant to promote the free cross-border movement and conservation of wildlife. He attributed the influx of elephants from Zimbabwe, Zambia, Namibia and Angola to a failure by those countries to provide basic water and security infrastructure for the animals.

“We have some partners, like Zambia and Zimbabwe, who fail to pay their subscriptions and putting up requisite infrastructure for essential services, such as water, in the KAZA. That results in many elephants crossing into Botswana because we have those provisions. Our neighbours need to drill boreholes and provide water to stop their animals from coming to Botswana,” Khama said.

Conservation Action Trust

The Conservation Action Trust works for the protection of threatened species by promoting the objective investigation and reporting of important conservation and environmental issues affecting these species. We hope to foster broader awareness and bring about greater public support of vital conservation and environmental issues.

  • Save Africa

    Way to go Botswana!! Don’t give in to the satanic ways of Corrupt Governments and pro-hunters. Trophy Hunter’s are always preaching that they do what they do for conservation, but if they want you to lift your ban, it only means they are running out of wildlife where they are allowed to hunt. It’s countries like yours that will help keep these species thriving. A big thank you from animal activists here in the U.S. and as well around the world. Keep up the great work….Do not give in to the devil and it’s ways….

  • Andrew Warren

    Good for you, Botswana. The hunters and captive breeders want nothing but money. All their talk of contributing to conservation is nothing but lip service. Studies have shown repeatedly that the money from hunting and captive breeding does not go towards conservation. Look after your own country, stand strong, and hopefully some of the disgraceful leaders in neighbouring countries like South Africa and Zimbabwe will take a leaf out of your book. European leaders should be ashamed of themselves. Useless, heartless and greedy.

  • Dr Neil Wilson

    EXCELLENT WORK, BOTSWANA! Tshekedi and Ian Khama, maintain and strengthen your hunting ban and shoot to kill policy and practice (poachers, wildlife criminals & syndicates).

Jacis Lodges
Airlink
Africa Geographic