Ethical hunting a priority

29 April 2016 | Environment

Conservancies in Namibia have this week resolved that they will uphold ethical hunting practices amid the growing pressure from anti-hunting lobbyists against the sustainable use of wildlife.
The resolution was one of 16 that were taken by conservancy chairpersons representing the 82 registered communal conservancies and the Kyaramacan Association during the Conservancies Chairperson Forum that took place under the theme of conservation hunting.
It was also resolved that conservancies will take ownership of the concept of conservation hunting and raise awareness in their communities about the importance of sustainable use.
Conservancies have decided that they will also request the ministry to provide clarification on hunting permit procedures to speed up the process of issuing permits.
They further called upon the ministry to assist, especially resource poor conservancies, with own-use hunting.
Conservancies also undertook to ensure that they comply with their constitutions, government policies and legislations. They said they would call on the ministry of environment and tourism to include conservancy representatives to CITES and other similar international platforms.
A resolution was made to strengthen regional associations and to explore the creation of a national platform which will allow conservancies to speak with one voice and to request the ministry to facilitate platforms to clarify the role of traditional authorities, conservancies and communal land boards in the management of conservancies.
The environment ministry will also be requested to translocate wildlife to conservancies that meet requirements for translocation where there is a need to move wildlife. The conservancies have also recognised the need for stronger legal support in terms of contracts and other legal issues. In this regard, they will be seeking assistance from the ministry and support organisations to mobilise both human and financial resources.
The conservancies will request the ministry to facilitate the provision of water in wildlife zones.
Conservancies have also noted that there is a need to fast track tourism concessions with a particular focus on resource poor conservancies.
“We acknowledge that certain wildlife species are shared between conservancies, that we should explore ways, to share these benefits between conservancies.”
The conservancies also undertook to finalise their wildlife management, utilisation and zoning plans with the help of support organisations and reaffirmed the importance of joint efforts to control and prevent wildlife crime
“We welcome the initiative by ministry to implement the conservancy award system as this serves as a challenge to work hard and provide annual data which helps to measure the performance of our conservancies.”

ELLANIE SMIT

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