Big Game Hunting In Africa Is Economically Useless IUCN

James.Grage

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In Tanzania 26% of the territory creates 0.22% of GDP - Big game hunting

November 2011. Today in sub-Saharan Africa, very large areas are used for big game hunting (approximately 1.4 million km²), which is 22% more than all national Parks of the region. Therefore, it is an important component of African rural landscapes. This study clarifies the role of big game hunting, with an emphasis on West Africa. The data gathered has been analysed to clarify the pertinence of big game hunting according to conservation, socioeconomic and good governance criteria.

Regarding conservation, big game hunting shows mixed results. Some areas are geographically stable, and wildlife populations are significant, but this is not the norm. Large disparities are seen between areas. Where management levels are similar, the conservation results from big game hunting are lower than those of neighbouring national parks or reserves. Hunting areas are less resistant to external pressures than national parks, and thus will play a lesser role in future conservation strategies. An undeniable positive result is that the conservation results that are obtained are entirely financed by the hunters, without support from donors and often without government commitment.

hunting_stats@large.JPG

Big Game Hunting and Gross Domestic Product
An important item of data for analysing development is Gross Domestic Product (GDP): in
absolute terms, per unit of surface area and per capita. The table above presents the figures
for the main big game hunting countries.

16.5% of land creates 0.0001% of jobs
The economic results of big game hunting are low. Land used for hunting generates much smaller returns than that used for agriculture or livestock breeding. Hunting contributions to GDP and States' national budgets are insignificant, especially when considering the size of the areas concerned. Economic returns per hectare, for the private sector and for governments are insufficient for proper management. Returns for local populations, even when managed by community projects (CBNRM) are insignificant, and cannot prompt them to change their behaviour regarding poaching and agricultural encroachment. The number of salaried jobs generated (15 000 all over Africa) is low considering that 150 million people live in the eight main big game hunting countries, and that hunting takes up 16.5% of their territory. To summarise, the hunting sector uses up a lot of space without generating corresponding socio-economic benefits.

Good governance is almost non existent
Good governance is also absent from almost the entire big game hunting sector in many countries. Those who currently have control of the system are not prepared to share that power and undertake adjustments that would mean relinquishing control. They attempt, thanks to a fairly opaque system, to keep a largely exhausted management system going. This position serves individual interests, but not those of conservation, governments or local communities.

Read the full report
A comprehensive study ordered by IUCN on big game hunting as a tool for conservation in Africa has been released and translated into english, click here to read the full report on big game hunting.

Hunting as a conservation tool
Hunting used to have, and still has, a key role to play in African conservation. It is not certain that the conditions will remain the same. Hunting does not however play a significant economic or social role and does not contribute at all to good governance.

The question, however, can be summarised today as: can we do conservation better than big game hunting has up until now, in those areas where big game hunting is practiced? This is not at all sure, all the more so in that big game hunting pays for itself.

The advent of consideration of environmental services and sustainable financing makes it possible to envisage financing these networks from a new angle. The environment is increasingly seen as a global good which cannot be used exclusively for individual interests or those of a minority.

In modern protected area networks, hunting areas still have an important role to play in conservation: that of financing and maintaining the peripheral areas around conservation blocks.

The scale of big game hunting in Africa
The People
Around 18,500 tourist hunters go big game hunting in Africa every year. Hunts are organised by approximately 1,300 organisations that employ around 3,400 guides and 15,000 local staff. On average, a hunting safari organisation will only have an average of 14.5 hunt clients per year and each guide will only take 5.5 hunters out annually.

The Places
Big game hunting areas take up huge areas of land: for the 11 main big game hunting countries, the surface area occupied is 110 million hectares, in other words 14.9% of the total land area of these countries. In addition to these hunting areas, protected areas occupy, in these 11 countries, 68.4 million hectares, i.e. 9.4% of the national territory. The sum of the hunting areas and protected areas therefore represents 24.3% of the surface area of these countries. This leaves a proportion of the country for human habitation that is difficult to reconcile with the development of these countries, the population density of which averages 34 people per km.

Animals Killed
Tourist hunters kill around 105 000 animals per year, including around 640 elephants, 3 800 buffalo, 600 lions and 800 leopards. Such quantities are not necessarily reasonable. It can e noted for example, that killing 600 lions out of a total population of around 25 000 (i.e. 2.4%) is not sustainable. A hunting trip usually lasts from one to three weeks, during which time each hunter kills an average of two to ten animals, depending on the country.

Financial Flows
The annual turnover for big game hunting in Africa is estimated at $US200 million, half of which is generated in South Africa and the rest in the other countries of Sub Saharan Africa. The contribution to the countries' GDP is 0.06% for the 11 main big game hunting countries.

The contribution to national budgets is also low: one percent of the land classified as big game hunting territory contributes 0.006% to the government budget. The contribution of hunting to the national budget is highest in Tanzania, where it is still only 0.3% and uses 26% of the national land area.

Returns per hectare in big game hunting areas
On average, big game hunting generates a turnover of $US1.1/ha in the 10 big game hunting countries (excluding South Africa), which is very low compared to agricultural use (300 to 600 times more), in a context where the peripheral zones of protected areas are already occupied. This figure does not reach the minimum ratio for the cost of developing a protected area (at least $US2/ha), and can be seen as the sole explanation for the gradual degradation of hunting areas. The local community's share is around $US0.10/ha (or 50 FCFA/ha), explaining their lack of interest in preserving hunting areas and their continued encroachment and poaching.

Low productivity of big game hunting
On average for these 11 countries, the surface area occupied by big game parks is 14.9% of national territory, and the contribution of big game hunting to the GDP is 0.06%. This makes the economic productivity of these hectares very low. This information shows that hunting is not a good option for land use, in particular in a context where priorities are to reduce poverty and establish food security. However, big game hunting (unlike small game hunting) is essentially carried out on land exclusively reserved for that purpose.

The least productive countries per hectare are Ethiopia (hunting areas have virtually disappeared there), Burkina Faso and Benin (where hunting trips are very cheap), Cameroon (where hunting areas are under high pressure from agriculture). These are the countries where closing down of hunting could make the biggest contribution to development by freeing-up land that is not very economically productive (but what would the consequences be for conservation?). These are also the countries where it is most difficult to change local communities' attitudes to conservation, due to the lack of any gain for them.

Find a more productive and eco-sensitive option
Those who are doing the best economically-speaking are Namibia and Botswana. And yet, Botswana decided that better value would be obtained from running safaris and they closed down hunting in the Okavango in 2009. This option should be studied in more depth in the other countries.

What is the place for big game hunting in this context?
The socio-economic contribution and the contribution to development of big game hunting are virtually nil. Therefore, the main overall interest of big game hunting lies in its value as a conservation tool. It is this value that should be increased by better integrating hunting into conservation strategies.
 

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BRICKBURN

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What is Big Game hunting?
 

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siml

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Hunting as a conservation tool
Hunting used to have, and still has, a key role to play in African conservation. It is not certain that the conditions will remain the same. Hunting does not however play a significant economic or social role and does not contribute at all to good governance.

That is a load of bull!!! I won't go into all the economics, but when it comes to social role, I know that we do loads of work and the communities benefit tremedously from our efforts.
 

stug

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The other issue is how much of the hunting land is suitable for farming etc? I know in NZ most of the land for hunting/conservation is useless for hunting.
 

siml

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Stug, good point, where I am in Mozambique, no live stock, tetsi fly area.
 

ActionBob

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Statistics are like a bikini.

What they reveal is very intriguing. However what they conceal is vital!
 

S.W. Smith

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I have seen this data before. It's pretty much the staple go-to article the anti-hunting community loves to cite. Of course hunting doesn't contribute to a vast majority of the GDP of a country, its purpose is to contribute to conservation, help feed hungry people, and propagate healthy populations of species. I would say hunting contributes far more to GDP than feigning outrage about killing lions, however.

I've read the original report which was written in French initially and then translated to English. The citation pages says, "sources consulted" not cited. So did you "consult" a source and then create your own data points? I of course am speaking in the royal, "you."

It's all irrelevant anyway, as I initially said, conservation isn't about GDP. The conclusion the article draws is hunting does not help with economic development, which stands to reason there was pretext to push-out hunting to use conservation lands to develop infrastructure. The whole thing is one big attempt at using fallacious logic to convince people hunting isn't beneficial.
 

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Typical report that is geared towards finding a specific result.

What constitutes Big Game Hunting?
Why not include all hunting?
What about the land use prior to hunting?
How much did that land generate before hunting?
Are they considering all the defunct livestock farms that are converted to wildlife due to economic value?

If they are complaining that these area's dont generate enough towards the GDP, then shouldnt more people support the hunting more so that it can become more beneficial... :A Banana::A Thumbs Up:

These types of reports get on my tits!

maybe i just need more :A Coffee: this time of the morning!
 

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The other issue is how much of the hunting land is suitable for farming etc? I know in NZ most of the land for hunting/conservation is useless for hunting.
rubish!!!!
 

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The economic results of big game hunting are low. Land used for hunting generates much smaller returns than that used for agriculture or livestock breeding. Hunting contributions to GDP and States' national budgets are insignificant, especially when considering the size of the areas concerned. Economic returns per hectare, for the private sector and for governments are insufficient for proper management.... The number of salaried jobs generated (15 000 all over Africa) is low considering that 150 million people live in the eight main big game hunting countries, and that hunting takes up 16.5% of their territory. To summarise, the hunting sector uses up a lot of space without generating corresponding socio-economic benefits.

An undeniable positive result is that the conservation results that are obtained are entirely financed by the hunters, without support from donors and often without government commitment.

The antis use this study? Interesting. This study says that hunters, despite their small numbers and relatively meager economics, preserve enormous areas of land for wild life. The argument here is that governments would be better to turn the land over to farmers and other businesses (e.g. habitat loss) to generate a dollar. Leave it to hunters, and these large tracts of land will be preserved and be entirely financed and managed by hunters without tax dollars. If you were to follow this argument, the large tracts of land would be turned over to business use, and national parks set up and paid for by tax dollars. Sounds like a crazy argument from a conservation perspective.
 

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i wonder how these people work out which of this land they are saying would be better off being used for agriculture, as i doubt most of the hunting blocks have had soil testing done to see how good or poor it is. in zimbabwe a lot of the cattle ranches converted to game as it was better at using the available food than cattle. some of the so called "war vets" given land have cleared it a found out its useless for growing crops..........in a lot of areas govnt and private you wouldnt be able to grow much, and the soil what there is would be exhausted very quickly, or get blown or washed away without the small amount of vegetation it originally supported keeping it in place. undoubtedly there are big areas of the hunting lands that will be very fertile and will be lost to agriculture, but to allow these faceless people to start the ball rolling by publishing papers such as this is very destructive. when the land that is no good for agriculture has been stripped and cleared of the natural bush then when the "farmers" its given to have turned it into a desert it aint coming back nor will the wildlife...............................as Ron Thomson said in one of his articles the IUCN has been taken over by antis who no longer use the original conservation by sustainable utilization that was used by the IUCN at the start............
 

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These numbers are worthless with out the data they used to come up with this. I bet they are only counting trophy fees for big 5 in their data and not all the other money spent by all hunters. I had the opportunity to visit a game auction in the Eastern Cape. Common sense tells me that the all the people there and money being spent, no way that this is 0.04% of the economy
 

edward

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I have seen this data before. It's pretty much the staple go-to article the anti-hunting community loves to cite. Of course hunting doesn't contribute to a vast majority of the GDP of a country, its purpose is to contribute to conservation, help feed hungry people, and propagate healthy populations of species. I would say hunting contributes far more to GDP than feigning outrage about killing lions, however.

I've read the original report which was written in French initially and then translated to English. The citation pages says, "sources consulted" not cited. So did you "consult" a source and then create your own data points? I of course am speaking in the royal, "you."

It's all irrelevant anyway, as I initially said, conservation isn't about GDP. The conclusion the article draws is hunting does not help with economic development, which stands to reason there was pretext to push-out hunting to use conservation lands to develop infrastructure. The whole thing is one big attempt at using fallacious logic to convince people hunting isn't beneficial.
im sure that the people who make a living out of hunting, would have a totally different opinion on this toilet paper report,also ask the animals that will all have to be eliminated to make room for the GDP land in question.just my opinion.its to bad all our knowledge an opinions cant be read by the fence riding public about the benefits of hunting,let alone the enjoyments.
 

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its to bad all our knowledge an opinions cant be read by the fence riding public about the benefits of hunting,let alone the enjoyments.
This is why we need a professional PR firm telling our story.
 

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James.Grage

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Spike ~~~ AKA Mike

Many groups add a surcharge to products as they sell them to generate money for marketing and or political assistance at state and federal levels.

These political and marketing arms help put out research, help draft bills before state and federal houses, that are pro for their organizations.

The NRA - DSC - SCI - DU - RMEF (these are the ones that i belong too) all have persons looking out and helping them. However they can only do so much, that is why they continue to ask their members for assistance and donations.

I would have thought that SCI & DSC would be canvasing their members to see if a daily charge could be added to a hunting package for this kind of public relations program. I do believe that this is where the money could be generated from. Example: $10.00 USD a day in the field a ten (10) day safari would generate $100.00 USD. Multiple this by 10,000 hunters and you have $1,000,000 that is earmarked for Public relations purposes. This would be a start, and this group would be charged with putting out press releases monthly if not bi-monthly.

On the above Article that was sent to me, all i can say is that at one time, I did numbers for a large corporation and you can make the numbers say what you want. The right questions need to be asked to get to the real issues. that is all i will say on the article.

However, the African countries have not produced any data with facts to the contrary that can be found easily if at all. If hunting provided a greater good in these countries, where is that information, in some one mind. The Professional hunting organizations from the above countries should have this information available for publishing in News print - Magazines and on line.
 

Royal27

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I would have thought that SCI & DSC would be canvasing their members to see if a daily charge could be added to a hunting package for this kind of public relations program. I do believe that this is where the money could be generated from.

Problem is, how would DSC or SCI collect and audit?

Great idea in theory. Next to impossible to execute on in this particle industry.
 

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Income per acre for purely agricultural land would be a much better measure. Their precious National Parks,as ours as well, COST them money and contribute nothing to GDP! So if Yellowstone does not produce a profit we should sell it off for cattle ranching? This is the point these morons are making. Can't everyone see that!
Why post this BS??? It just makes me mad and is no challenge for me to destroy the argument made by these idiots!
Regards,
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