Community Based Organisations are expected to change economic livelihood next year to photographic tourism as the government institutes a ban on hunting wildlife.
Communities living side by side with wildlife have been benefitting from the animals, selling their meat processes and skins to tourists amongst others and at the same time creating employment for the communities.
“My Ministry is cognizant of the fact that Community Based Organisations that have primarily benefited from consumptive utilization are anxious about the potential impact of this decision.
However, my Ministry has given prior notice and facilitation to ensure a smooth transaction of CBO’s to photographic tourism,” the Minister of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism, Tshekedi Khama, said. “We believe that benefits that will accrue to the CBO’s from photographic ventures will in the long term be more sustainable than those derived from hunting.”
Used to employ 10 people during the hunting season, Khwai Development Trust now provides 76 permanent jobs under photographic safaris with a slight of over P25m in revenue accrued.
With effect from January 2014, Communities, especially the rural society heavily dependent on the animals will see the government institute a ban on hunting of wildlife in all controlled hunting areas with no quotas, licences or permits issued for hunting of Part I and Part II game animals as listed in the Wildlife Conservation and National Parks Acts.
Licences will, however, continue to be issued for game birds listed in Part III of the same Act subject to conditions to be determined by the Department of Wildlife and National Parks.
“The decision to temporarily ban hunting has been necessitated by available information which indicates that several species in the country are showing declines. The causes of the decline are likely of factors such as anthropogenic impacts including illegal off-take and habitat fragmentation or loss. The suspension of hunting will allow my Ministry to work with relevant stakeholders in understanding the causes of decline and where possible to put in place remedial measures to reverse the trend,” Khama said. “My Ministry will continue to monitor wildlife trends using suitable methodologies and regularly update the public on status of wildlife resource.”