Namibia: Local Hunters Urge for Tighter Controls

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  1. AfricaHunting.com

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    Namibia: Local Hunters Urge for Tighter Controls
    by Jana-Mari Smith

    THE NAMIBIAN trophy hunting sector has urged government to adopt a zero tolerance stance towards illegal and unethical hunting in the country.

    At a workshop for emerging commercial farmers, Marina Lamprecht, and an executive member of the Namibian Professional Hunting Association (Napha) noted that the most serious threat to the local trophy hunting industry is "the increase in illegal and unethical trophy hunting, which threatens to damage the reputation and popularity of Namibia as an international hunting destination".

    Lamprecht said the situation is critical and a lack of law enforcement is a key element driving illegal activities.

    "With the current system of often merely issuing an acknowledgment of guilt fine to those caught hunting illegally, this practice will continue uncontrolled".

    Lamprecht furthermore said that the culprits are "mostly South Africans operating illegally in our country, by posing as Namibian professional hunters or trophy hunting operators".

    However, she acknowledged that "our own countrymen" are often bribed to sign permits which allow unregistered hunters to operate locally.

    According to local hunters, the absence of legislation leads to a "legal vacuum which lacks definitions and preventative measures to discourage canned leopard hunting, to mention just one point".

    She said that illegal operators continue "to treat the system with contempt and makes a mockery of the Namibian trophy hunting industry and all that we stand for".

    Napha, which was established in the seventies, expects members to adhere to strict codes of ethics and guidelines that address hunting and the environment as well as business and social issues. However, despite the organisation's active work and oversight of the industry, it's goals are hampered by a lack of regulations and strict law enforcement.

    She urged Minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah to "take strong actions against foreign operators who offer hunts here illegally and take away the licenses of Namibian hunting professionals who break the law. Unless urgent action is taken, this will be the downfall of the industry". Lamprecht noted that the 'wildlife bill', which has been languishing for 12 years, if enacted, could hand legal and policing tools to Government so they can effectively fight fraudsters in the industry.

    In 2007, the trophy hunting industry in Namibia generated revenues of N$316 million. That number represented a 12 per cent growth in the hunting industry between 1996 and 2006, she said.

    However, in 2008, revenue dropped by 7,7 per cent and by a "staggering 40 per cent in 2009". Lamprecht says the downward trend is continuing.

    Namibia remains one of the most popular hunting destinations in the world, Lamprecht said. The increased value of wildlife to humans in Namibia has led to 80 per cent of Namibia's wildlife existing outside of protected areas.

    She added that the hunting industry employs "more people and pays better salaries, as well as provides more training, skill recognition and job promotion opportunities than any other form of commercial agricultural and communal conservancy land utilisation in Namibia". She added that Namibia is " a pro-wildlife and wildlife utilisation country, and our progressive national constitution is the first in the world to formally enshrine the sustainable utilisation of living natural resources". By protecting Namibia's reputation as a hunting destination, trophy hunting "has the potential to develop into one of our country's most valuable renewable assets".


    Source: The Namibian
     
  2. Ardent

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    As an aside from the issue at hand in the article, I really appreciate the last two paragraphs and how they clearly and cleanly explain the benefits of well managed sport hunting economically, and ecologically. Quoted and emailed to friends.
     

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