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Government lifts hunting ban

Government has announced the lifting of the hunting suspension in Botswana following extensive consultations with all stakeholders.

A press release from the Ministry Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism says it will work with all stakeholders to ensure the re-instatement of hunting is done in an orderly and ethical manner and in accordance with the Wildlife Conservation and National Parks Act as well as the Wildlife Conservation and National Parks (Hunting Licensing) Regulations.

The release notes that since its imposition, the hunting suspension has become a topical subject leading to the development of two schools of thought.

Some hold the view that “if hunting was re-instated, communities would support conservation as they realise the potential value and associated income to be derived from wildlife resources and related activities; and as a result, the annual population would increase”, while others argue it would lead to animal population increases and promote conservation especially for the species that experienced reduction”, it says.

Against this backdrop, the release says, a cabinet sub committee was established in June 2018 to kick start social dialogue aimed at reviewing the suspension on hunting.

The release explains that the dialogue entailed a nationwide process including the holding of kgotla meetings and consulting local authorities, affected communities, NGOs, tourism businesses, conservationists, researchers and other stakeholders.

“The fundamental issue that emerged was the appreciation by citizens that they were being consulted. This was seen as necessary for building on the national principles of: Democracy, Development, Self-reliance, Unity and Botho,” it says.

The release says some of the findings of the cabinet sub committee were that the number and high levels of human-elephant conflict and the consequent impact on livelihoods was increasing, predators appear to have increased and were causing a lot of damage as they kill livestock in large numbers.

Other findings are that there is a negative impact of the hunting suspension on livelihoods, particularly for community based organisations that were previously benefiting from consumptive utilisation, lack of capacity within the Department of Wildlife and National Parks leading to long response time to problem animal control reports, and the general consensus that the hunting ban should be lifted.

On the basis of the mentioned issues and after reflecting and assessing the recommendations, government decided to lift the suspension, the release says. ENDS

Source : BOPA

Author : BOPA

Location : GABORONE

Event : Press Release

Date : May 23 Thu,2019

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