Conservancies Not Happy With Trophy Hunting Ban (Namibia)


The Namibian

Date Published

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 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 the 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 tourists 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 representative of 29 communal conservancies in the Kunene Region.