Hunting Ethiopia & Trophy Fees
Hunting Ethiopia & Trophy Fees
Safari Club International (SCI) Urges the Ethiopian Government to Maintain Current Trophy Fees and recently wrote a letter to the Ethiopian government urging them to maintain the current trophy fees. The Ethiopian government had previously announced that fees would be increased up to 300% starting in July 2009. This includes an exorbitant fee increase on the Mountain Nyala from $5000 to $15,000. Here below is the letter that the SCI sent to the Ethiopian government.
April 6, 2009
Minister of Culture and Tourism
P.O Box 1907
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Fax: +251 11 551 28 89
Dear Minister Dirir:
I am writing to you on a matter of urgent concern to Safari Club International and Safari Club International Foundation. We have been informed that in July 2009 the Ethiopian government is planning a significant increase in the trophy fees related to safari hunting in Ethiopia. We have been told all trophy fees have been increased significantly and that in some cases trophy fees have been increased by as much as 300%.
Our organizations support the sustainable use of wildlife and the equitable sharing of the benefits from such use, as called for in the Convention on Biological Diversity. However, we are concerned that an unanticipated and large increase in fees, being applied on very short notice, could have the opposite effect. These actions may lead to widespread cancellation of hunts and result in a loss of revenue to Ethiopia, not an increase in revenue. Additionally, a drastic increase in fees could decrease Ethiopia’s desirability as a place to hunt when compared to other African countries, thus further reducing tourism revenues. Our organizations represent more than 55,000 hunters and over 190 affiliated chapters worldwide, many of who spend significant funds hunting in Africa. Our main goal is to protect the hunting heritage worldwide. A key to that, especially when considering safari hunting, is the existence of a stable, healthy number of hunt outfitters and professional hunters. These people make it possible for safari hunting to occur. Without them, the revenues and other benefits associated with safari hunting would not continue. Therefore, we favor the establishment and continuation of a reasonable, reliable and predictable business environment in which safari hunting can flourish. Such an environment benefits everyone – the hunters, the outfitters, the governments, the local people who derive benefits from the hunting activities, and, at the end of the day, the conservation of the game species themselves.
The decision to greatly increase fees may have a substantial impact on this sector of your economy. You should increase fees, if at all, only with enough time to consider all the ramifications and to allow businesses and their clients to make the necessary adjustments. We strongly recommend you to reconsider this increase in trophy fees, especially in light of the global economic recession that is already causing steep declines in hunting revenues worldwide. Finally, SCI supports the sustainable use of wildlife. Therefore, if you decide to increase trophy fees, we suggest that you set aside a percentage of the revenue for conservation of wildlife and to the local residents where hunting occurs. Without the game species being conserved and valued by the local communities, the species may diminish and ultimately disappear, resulting in the loss of hunting opportunities.
We thank you in advance for taking the time to consider our concerns. Ethiopia is a unique and growing destination in the world for hunters. It has a fine reputation for hospitality and a well-run wildlife program. We hope that we can work with you to maintain that status for Ethiopia.
Merle Shepard, President
Safari Club International
Safari Club International Foundation