“Namibia’s environment minister has outlined plans to ensure that at least half of all income from tourism and hunting goes to local communities, and that strict ethics and social media guidelines are applied to hunting in the country,” said a recent article in Daily Maverick. The article was co-authored by Joseph Goergen, Conservation Manager for Safari Club International Foundation.
The Minister of Environment and Tourism, Pohamba Shifeta, outlined a new directive that “at least 50% of the total annual income from tourism concessions and hunting activities… must be allocated towards the implementation of community development projects,” according to the article.
The community development projects include drought relief, electrification, classrooms and health clinics, and provide the incentives for sustainable use of wildlife and land conservation.
Shifeta’s address to Namibia’s Conservancy Chairperson’s Forum included an important message to the hunting industry. He called for the highest standards of ethics and responsibility. “Conservation hunting is at the heart of the success of the communal conservancies in Namibia,” said Shifeta. “Let us work together to ensure hunting plays the part it can in eradicating poverty and furthering conservation in this country,” concluded the minister.
“Namibia’s first conservancies were formed in 1998. Over the past 21 years, the community-based natural resource management (CBNRM) program has contributed significantly to community development targets in Namibia and globally. Namibia is a major success story in wildlife conservation thanks to this model, now home to the world’s largest free-roaming population of black rhino and cheetah with growing numbers of elephant, lion and other species. Safari Club International Foundation supports NACSO’s community game guard training programme,” said the Daily Maverick article.
Several heads of state later met in Kasane, Botswana, agreeing to a transboundary elephant management plan across the Kavango-Zambezi (KAZA) Transfrontier Conservation Area, the largest combination of protected areas in the world, home to more than half of Africa’s elephant population.
“After a resolution was adopted by the Community Chairperson’s Forum, the Namibian Association of Community Based Natural Resource Organizations (NACSO) gave SCIF staff a brief tour of the Kunene South region to learn first-hand how local conservancies are managed. While photographic tourists and overlanding campers constitute a large number of visitors to this region, hunting provides a low environmental impact yet high-value contribution where alternatives simply don’t exist,” according to the article.
Joseph Goergen was joined by the following experts in co-authoring the Daily Maverick article:
Maxi Louis, Director of the Namibian Association of CBNRM Support Organisations (Nacso).
Hilma Angula, Co-ordinator of Nacso’s institutional governance support to communal conservancies in Namibia.
Rosalia Iileka, with the Namibia Nature Foundation.