Botswana Confederation of Commerce Industry and Manpower (BOCCIM) and Botswana Wildlife Producers Association (BWPA) have resolved to engage an independent consultant to investigate the impact of hunting ban on the Botswana economy. Minutes of a meeting held by the two organisations, reveals that BOCCIM feels that government needs to appreciate that hunting is a good and sustainable tool for conservation and allow hunting under auction.
The two organisations proposed an independent study to assess the impact of the ban hunting and viability of photographic safaris focusing on history of game ranching, Industry dynamics, Economic and Ecological impact, statistics, solutions and strategies and implications. BOCCIM noted that the ban already has adverse effects on the local economy because most of the trophy hunters were largely drawn to Botswana by elephant hunting with ranch hunting only serving as a subsidiary activity.
The industry does not agree with the reasons provided by Government for the hunting ban; especially the reason on decline in the wildlife species apparently due to hunting. The industry argues that there are figures that prove the animal population in Botswana is not declining and the elephant population has increased over the years. In the industry’s view, other factors such as illegal hunting, drought, flooding in the Delta area, veldt fires and rain were not taken into account. Industry members also raised concerns about the ban-albeit temporary- on export of live animals and carcass because it hampers investment in good quality genes.
The temporary ban on export of live animals as explained by the industry will lead to loss of species because investors cannot import animals for breeding if they cannot export their produce. Game farmers are not willing to import animals if they cannot realize good returns on their investment. The net effect of this ban is loss of jobs, import opportunities, revenue and lower asset values. The value of a farm that is allowed to export is higher than one which is barred. Private Secretary to the Minister of Wildlife and Tourism Pako Nyepi told theSunday Standard that the Minister could not comment because he was attending a meeting.