African elephant

Photo: Pixabay

Namibia defends trophy hunting as SADC nations seek to sell tusks

Despite growing global campaigns against trophy hunting, Namibia’s cabinet believes the practice is critical to the economy.

African elephant

Photo: Pixabay

The Namibian publication has reported that cabinet endorsed a campaign to promote conservation hunting and its benefits to local communities and the broader environment. 

Information minister Stanley Simataa communicated the resolution of Namibia’s cabinet, adding that the bans on trophy hunting would spell disaster in the sector, which employs 15 000 people and sustains itself via hunting.

“People have now embraced that wildlife is part of our ecosystem and that we should conserve and manage it because we are getting utility out of this. Imagine if this stopped, the loss in revenue, the unemployment that will come and the impairment that will be there in terms of our efforts to address poverty,” Simataa was quoted as saying in The Namibian.

Trophy hunting: Sad reality for Cecil the Lion

He added that banning trophy hunting would mean the sparsely populated desert country, teeming with wildlife, would have to continue extending begging bowels to the international community as a ban would lead to job losses in the southern African country. 

“We do not want to be a nation that has begging bowls in its hands, we need money to be a truly independent nation to take care of its citizens,” said Simataa. 

Trophy hunting for big game in Africa was again thrust in the limelight in 2015 when Walter Palmer, a Minnesota dentist and avid trophy hunter, shot and killed the 12-year-old male African lion Cecil. 

In 2017, six-year-old Xanda — Cecil’s son — was shot and killed by hunters when he roamed outside the protected area of the Hwange National Park, in Zimbabwe. 

Call to lift global ivory trade ban

In 2019, Zimbabwe president Emmerson Mnangagwa opened a United Nations wildlife summit with a call to lift the global ivory trade ban so that the country could sell $600 million (about R9.1 billion) of stockpiled elephant tusks.

According to international news agency AFP, Mnangagwa said selling the tusks and rhino horns would enable the impoverished nation to fund conservation efforts for 20 years.

Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia and Zambia have all cited the growing number of elephants in some areas in their bid to have the ban relaxed, a move which has angered many conservationists.

By African News Agency; Editing by Desiree Erasmus