Connect with us
Advertisement

‘Trophy hunting making the richer rich and poor poorer’ Report

Trophy-hunting

A new report has found that trophy hunting in Botswana has contributed in making rural communities poorer and making the rich richer.

The report by South African researcher, Adam Cruise says that the only people who benefit from trophy hunting are hunters and wealthy business owners while communities where there is abundance of wildlife is wallowing in poverty.

“Trophy hunting fails to provide tangible financial benefits to local communities, does not assist with an increase in wildlife populations and does not mitigate elephant-conflict incidences,” the report found.  It shows that trophy hunting continues to impoverish local communities, causes the decline in species and heightens human-elephant conflict situations.

According to the report, the financial benefits and employment opportunities for community members in Community-Based Natural Resource Management (CBNRMs) “where trophy hunting is the only or dominant activity is negligible to nothing.”

Income generated for Botswana’s CBNRMs in 2015, for example, revealed that community members received less than BWP 2 (USD 0,17) per individual for that year,” the report says.
The situation has not improved seven years later: “All community members interviewed during this investigation stated that they receive little to no direct income from trophy hunting,” the report found.

It says the majority of community members, especially those not directly employed as trackers or skinners by trophy hunting companies or as members of the CBO management or Board of Trustees, receive no direct income or any meaningful employment within their CBNRMs.

“The only benefits from trophy hunting received for the 25 villages within CBNRMs visited during this investigation was the occasional handing out of meat from a trophy hunted elephant, the supposed purchase of a vehicle for the community trust, wages for a handful of trust staff, a fence for a borehole, the possible future construction of a tuck-shop and an upgrade of an airstrip.”
According to the report, unemployment and poverty levels within CBNRMs are the highest in Botswana.

“In 2015, when the last census of its kind was taken, the total number of people within CBNRMs living below the poverty line was estimated to be 148,999 with an average poverty rate of 27%. This was above the average for all rural villages (24.3%) in Botswana and much higher than the national average of 19.3%.6,” the report says.

The report cited independent findings that Botswana remains one of the most unequal countries on earth. “It must also be stated that most communities within CBNRMs in Botswana rely predominantly on government benefits in the form of income grants, old age assistance and other grants,” it was found.

These funds, in turn, are derived from taxes generated by Botswana’s two largest economic sectors – mining and photographic tourism. This means, the report says, that while trophy hunting is presented as being the most dominant direct provider within CBNRM communities, it rarely reaches the majority of community members who must still derive a living from government assistance which is generated by taxes that effectively originates in mining and tourism.

According to the report, from various interviews with respondents that were either part-of or privy to the process, the lifting of the hunting moratorium did not involve any new management plans.
It says there were no new leases to communities, no environmental impact assessments or area specific protocols or any general protocol for community engagement.

“The whole process was governed by a rushed ‘consultative’ process to a few areas that unashamedly excluded large members of the rural community within the CBNRMs, especially for marginalized groups like the San,” the report says.  The report says, “In terms of conservation value, the national trophy hunting quota of 400 elephants in 2022 – a figure probably derived without any scientific basis – is likely to have negative consequences on elephant migration movements, reproductive abilities and conflict incidences.”

The current biological research, says the report, points to a probable catastrophic scenario for elephants if the current elephant trophy hunting quota and elephant management policy. “Interviews were conducted with a range of residents in the villages of Gani and Xaudum in NG1. All were extremely dissatisfied with the citizen hunting system, with one man stating that citizen hunting only benefits outsiders and central government,” the report shows.

Citing an interview with one of the residents, the report says, distant owners of licenses in other CHAs (Controlled Hunting Areas) nearby had over-used their quotas in2021. “In some cases, quotes were exceeded by 100%,” the report said. Another resident informed the authors of the report that most of the hunters are politically connected and there is no enforcement of the quota system.

It says none of the respondents have received any direct financial benefits including meat that is supposed to be given to communities as per the requirements set out the hunting guidelines for Citizen Elephant Hunting. “Neither did any respondents identify indirect benefits for the villages,” the report says.

Many cited that there were no employment opportunities provided by elephant hunting either says the report adding that, “There is a common mistrust of trophy hunters and trophy hunting enterprises owned by wealthy business owners with all respondents interviewed.”

The report says the only areas recording significant elephant decline were those bordering neighbouring countries such as Namibia and Zimbabwe. The report says a series of identified poaching hotspots were attributed to these declines, specifically of bull elephants, presumably for their larger tusks.

News

Hunt for new Ombudsman ongoing

17th August 2022

The Minister of Justice, Machana Shamukuni says the search to appoint the Ombudsman and other critical heads of department is currently ongoing and the process is expected to be completed before end of the year.

The Ombudsman position fell vacant almost five months ago after Augustine Makgonatsotlhe was removed from the office and appointed as Ambassador to Kuwait.

This content is locked

Login To Unlock The Content!

Continue Reading

News

Two Batswana detained in Zim for illegal trade in mercury

17th August 2022

Two Batswana nationals have been arrested in Zimbabwe for illegal trade in mercury. The duo is being held together with a Zimbabwean national who is being questioned by the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP).

This publication understands that the suspects who are aged between 39 and 56 years hail from Tutume and Selebi-Phikwe. At the time of the arrest, they were found in possession of a pistol, bomb motor and four live rounds. It is understood that the suspects told investigators during interrogation that the deadly substance has a lucrative market in Far East countries, where the demand is high. It is further reported that the suspects claimed that the mercury can be easily accessed in mines through middleman.

This content is locked

Login To Unlock The Content!

Continue Reading

News

No end in sight for Botswana/ Namibia looming border row

17th August 2022

The Namibian Lives Matter Movement has weighed in on the looming border dispute between their country and Botswana.

Commenting on reports that the Namibian Parliament has dispatched a committee along the border between the two countries on fact finding mission, the group commended“the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, De-fence and Security that will engage community members living along the Namibia Botswana Border in conducting public hearings into acts of aggression and brutality by Botswana Defence (BDF) Force against innocent and unarmed Namibians.” 

This content is locked

Login To Unlock The Content!

Continue Reading
Weekend Post