MET spokesperson Romeo Muyunda recently told New Era that revenue generated through trophy hunting in conservancies goes directly to the communities and noted that revenue generated through trophy hunting in national parks and on other state land goes to the Game Product Trust Fund, which is then re-invested into conservation efforts.
Muyunda said about N$450 million is generated from hunting on private game farms per annum and that trophy hunting generates around N$10 million in revenue for government annually.
He said the proceeds are invested in the Game Product Trust Fund: “It is then reinvested into conservation by means of support for human-wildlife conflict mitigation, anti-poaching and infrastructure development, such as water provision to game, amongst others.”
In addition, he said about 15,000 jobs are created from hunting in various categories, including professional hunters, hunting guides, skinners and trackers. Therefore, he believes, trophy hunting is contributing to economic growth.
He emphasised that trophy hunting adds value to conservation and provides a window of incentive or an income opportunity to those protecting biodiversity.
Moreover, he said trophy hunting is viewed as a formr of sustainable utilisation of wildlife resources, as provided for in law.
“Sustainable use of wildlife resources is the result of good conservation and good wildlife management, and it is in our collective interest to ensure that we use this resource sustainably,” he remarked.
He said it has become common knowledge that tourism in general and trophy hunting in particular have grown to be of the most important industries in Namibia in terms of its contribution to the Gross Domestic Product, employment creation and the wellbeing and social upliftment of Namibian rural people.
Trophy huntable game species in Namibia include elephant, buffalo, leopard, crocodile, hippopotamus, huntable game birds, lion, oryx, kudu and springbok.
Muyunda could not provide exact statistics on how many trophy-hunting permits are going to be issued, nor how many were granted this year compared to last.
He did say most trophy hunters are from beyond Namibia’s borders and that professional hunters, or hunting guides must have Namibian citizenship or permanent residence.
Asked what countries most trophy hunters in Namibia come from, he said Germany and the United States of America top the list.
The hunting season in Namibia starts in February every year and lasts until the end of November.