The Namibia Cabinet has approved the country’s position to oppose calls to ban and restrict trophy hunting and the export of wildlife products from the country.
The announcement made by Tjekero Tweya, Namibia’s Minister of Information and Communication Technology directed the Ministry of Environment and Tourism to actively campaign against the attempts to ban or restrict hunting and the export of wildlife products.
In the past, the government, through the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, has on various occasions stated that such hunting restrictions and ban on the export of wildlife will have devastating consequences on the conservation sector as well as commercial and communal farming.
“It is those so-called animal lovers who want to destroy our tourism and trophy hunting industry; they do not even have these animals in their countries?” He said.
The Minister was referring to moves in the European Commission to ban the importation of hunting trophies into Europe, and similar calls have been made in the United States.
The Cabinet further directed Cabinet members to support Namibia’s position against the ban at various fora, and communicate at all possible opportunities Namibia’s importance of national conservation and sustainable development programmes.
Cabinet also noted that a code of conduct for conservation hunting is being developed, accompanied by improvements in the regulation of hunting and strengthening the link between hunting and conservation.
“Cabinet supports the Ministry of Environment and Tourism in its efforts to engage with partners in conservation and development in intensifying measures aimed at stopping wildlife crimes,” said Tweya.
The Namibian government has insisted that that that trophy hunting or conservation hunting helps in the sustainability of commercial and communal farms.
According to the government, conservation hunting has throughout trying times, such as the prevailing drought, acted as a means of income and helped with the sustainability of conservation in Namibia at large. Currently, livestock farmers are finding it hard to survive without trophy hunting, because they get more money from game than livestock. Livestock is more about reliability. They can sustain their farms through the income they get from this such as buying fodder, paying their workers and developing their farms.
“Maintenance of wildlife is cheaper than livestock farming, therefore we want to maintain this for the farmers to, because if we do not do that some of the farms will be on sale immediately and it will affect our tourism and conservation industry?” Added the environment minister.