In circumstances all too familiar in the wildlife conservation field, Namibia’s renowned community-based sustainable use model has come under attack from antis using ‘cherry-picked’ incidents, out-of-context statements and misleading questions.
Two articles attacking the model recently have been published, according to a response article by experts in Namibia posted by Conservation Frontlines.
“On February 26th, 2019 Mongabay.com (‘News & Inspiration from Nature’s Frontline’) published an unusually long article called ‘It pays, but does it stay? Hunting in Namibia’s community conservation system,’ replete with photos, graphs, statistics and videos. In it, the author, John Grobler heaped scathing criticism on Namibia’s Wildlife Conservation Model. Almost a month later, a condensed version titled ‘Troubled times for Namibian wildlife,’ was published as an op-ed in The Daily Maverick, an online South African newspaper.”
In the Mongabay and Daily Maverick articles, the author suggests that there are inherent problems with hunting in Namibia in general, and the country’s conservancy system, in particular.
The Conservation Frontlines article refutes the claims made by Grobler, stating he “has cherry-picked several incidents and situations, and that he not only quoted the hunting safari operator out of context, he put words into his mouth. One suspects that he also ‘framed’ unsuspecting rural community members through cleverly constructed questions. In addition, Grobler used NACSO (the Namibian Association of CBNRM Support Organizations) graphs out of context and created further distortions with his own pseudo-scientific graphs. The result is patent untruth.”
The conservationfronlines.org article points out that, “over the years, Grobler has aligned himself with Izak and Ingrid Smit, two other Southern African anti-hunting activists who seek to discredit Namibia’s conservancies, the country’s Ministry of Environment and Tourism, NACSO, NAPHA (the Namibia Professional Hunting Association), WWF-Namibia, IRDNC (Integrated Rural Development and Nature Conservation), and other NGOs active in community-based wildlife management. Grobler et al. seem to focus on bringing disrepute upon communal conservancies and sustainable hunting in Namibia; their relentless rhetoric has fueled the fervor of many desktop anti-hunting Social Media activists.”