Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Ban on trophy hunting to impact on Botswana’s GDP

A move to ban trophy hunting, which was influenced by a survey that has been regarded as faulty on the decline of wildlife species in the country, is feared that it will greatly impact negatively on the tourism sector, which is the second largest earner.
 
Analysts predict that the revenue that was being realised through trophy hunting will affect the revenue accrued.
 
The move to ban trophy hunting was influenced by the aerial survey findings by Dr Mike Chase of Elephant Without Borders (EWB) on the decline of wildlife species last year. Some regard the survey as faulty and questionable.
 
┬áTrophy hunting has been cited as one of tourism’s offshoots that accrue more revenue compared to the Photographic Safari’s which government is moving towards embracing.
 
The Acting Director of the Okavango Research  Centre, Joseph Mbaiwa, revealed in an interview that the ban on trophy hunting was not a good move.
 
Mbaiwa is of the opinion that the government’s decision to ban trophy┬áhunting will affect revenue generated by communities that rely on community trusts.
 
Mbaiwa says the ban of trophy ┬áhunting in Botswana will have direct consequences on the livelihood of people who have been relying on hunting quota’s ┬áto make revenue.
 
According to Mbaiwa ┬áit is evident that the money generated by this trusts through trophy hunting was much more compared to profits made from Photographic Safari’s.
 
He explained that the community trusts made a profit of P7 million through  trophy hunting while profits generated through photographic safaris was P2 million.
 
Mbaiwa also noted that in 2006 and 2009, an amount of P33 million was generated through trophy hunting while P4 million came from photographic safaris.
 
 He indicated that the money that was generated through trophy hunting was used to employ and uplift many communities who run community trusts.
 
┬á┬á“If the ban is imposed, this supply will be cut short and communities will not be able to carry out some activities for their own benefit. In my view the incidents of poaching are likely to go up since the chain supply, which has been the core business that brought revenue for their benefit, has been since cut,” added Mbaiwa.
 
He feared that many people who rely on community trusts, more specially in the Okavango Delta, are going to lose jobs and their source of livelihood due to  the ban on trophy hunting. He further explained that the move is going to leave people without income and jobs, adding that through Photographic Safaris, the communities trusts are likely to lose profits.
 
He said that the communities will not make profits from photographic safaris because most of their community trusts were on the periphery of the delta, which was not attractive to tourists.

┬á“It is different because the big tourism companies operate their businesses in the core of the delta where every tourist wishes to go,” said Mbaiwa. He could not dispute that the move will also affect the revenue brought into the economy through tourism if the government fails to fast track and support the photographic safaris. Mbaiwa said that the aerial survey on the decline of wildlife species has been regarded as faulty┬áand is questionable.┬á He said that the results are questionable because Chase was using Aerial Survey to count wildlife species without conducting ground counting.

He feared that Chase’s study is questionable because the survey was not supported by a trend on wildlife population.

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Sunday Standard August 9 – 15

Digital copy of Sunday Standard issue of August 9 - 15, 2020.