The government of Botswana announced today that it will reopen hunting after a five-year suspension in big game hunting areas in that Southern African nation. A news conference to discuss details is set for tomorrow.
“The ministry of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism wishes to inform the public that following extensive consultations with all stakeholders, the Government of Botswana has taken a decision to lift the hunting suspension,” officials announced in an invitation to the media for the upcoming news conference.
“This is outstanding news,” exclaimed SCI President Paul Babaz. “It is heartening to see that the government of Botswana has taken all aspects into its careful consideration of this matter. We salute the officials in Botswana for their wise decision.”
“These findings clearly show that hunting bans actually hurt wildlife conservation; hunting is the key to providing the necessary revenue to fund anti-poaching efforts and on-the-ground conservation research,” SCI President Babaz continued. “This is just one more example of how hunters are the real champions of wildlife conservation and groups like HSUS and PETA simply raise money to line their own pockets instead of joining the real conservationists… hunters!”
In June 2018, Botswana’s government began reviewing the hunting suspension.
“The process involved a nationwide process including holding Kgotla meetings and consulting with Local Authorities, affected communities, NGO’s, tourism businesses, conservationists, researchers and other stakeholders,” the government explained.
“The fundamental issue that emerged was the appreciation by citizens that they were being consulted,” the government continued, “This was seen as necessary for building on the national principles of: Democracy, Development, Self-reliance, Unity and Botho (social harmony).”
The government’s findings included:
- The number and high levels of human-animal conflict and the consequent impact on livelihood was increasing
- Predators appear to have increased and were causing a lot of damage as they kill livestock in large numbers
- There is a negative impact of the hunting suspension on livelihoods, particularly for community-based organizations that were previously benefitting from consumptive utilization
- The lack of capacity within the Department of Wildlife and National Parks leads to long response time to problem animal control reports
- The general consensus from those consulted was that the hunting ban should be lifted.
“On the basis of these issues, the Government has reflected and assessed the recommendations, and lifted the suspension,” the government announced.