MMEGI ARTICLE RESPONSE: “WILDLIFE HUNTING TO CEASE IN BOTSWANA”.
We refer to the above article carried on Mmegi issue of Friday 15th July, 2011.
It was said that; the Botswana government is in advanced legal process to ban the hunting of wildlife in favour of photographic safari.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism would like to clarify that there is no decision made to ban wildlife hunting. Instead, what is being done is to encourage photographic tourism and gradually limit but not ban wildlife hunting. It must be known that species with declining numbers will be considered for limited hunting while those with increasing numbers like elephants, will continue to be hunted within CITES framework.
On the 13th and 14th July 2011, the Ministry and other stakeholders organized two days training workshop for local Media Practitioners on Poverty and Environmental Reporting. It was at this workshop that the Ministry spokesperson highlighted the benefits of photographic tourism to Community Trusts in the country as compared to just issuing hunting quotes during a discussion on Community Based Resource National Management (CBNRM). But there was no reference to hunting ban. Unfortunately, he was quoted out of context.
In conclusion, the Ministry states that the Botswana Government has no plan to ban hunting in this country and we would like to assure all hunting safari companies and affected communities that live near wildlife management areas who continues to benefit from hunting. The Mmegi story does not reflect current government thinking on the subject of wildlife hunting.
Coordinator, Communications, Research and Development
According to report on www.mmegi.bw the Botswana government is considering to ban all wildlife hunting in the country and to promote photographic safaris instead. The online edition of the newspaper is quoting Archibald Ngakayagae, a Ministry of Wildlife, Environment and Tourism spokesperson, saying that "they [the Botswana Government] will be using recent research findings by wildlife conservationist, Dr Mike Chase, that shows that some wildlife species have dwindled by as high as 90 percent due to hunting, poaching and veldt fires over the last decade. The policy to promote photographic safari against hunting is now advanced and in future they will not be issuing any hunting quotas."
The report by Dr Mike Chase shows that ostrich have declined over the last years by about 80%, wildebeest by 90%, 83% of tsessebe, about 80% of warthogs and roan antelope, and 65% of giraffe. Lion hunting in Botswana was already suspended in 2007.