Botswana considering lifting elephant hunting ban, may introduce elephant culls

rinehart0050

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Video captionHow would re-introducing elephant hunting affect communities and the economy in BotswanaA
Botswana mulls lifting elephant hunting ban
By Alastair LeitheadBBC News, Africa correspondent

A report by cabinet ministers in Botswana has recommended lifting a four-year hunting ban and the introduction of elephant culling.


After months of public meetings and consultations, the report by ministers also recommends the "establishment of elephant meat canning" for pet food.

The number of elephants in Botswana is estimated to be about 130,000, which some argue is too many for the ecosystem - there is increasing conflict between wildlife and people.

But others say the country's tourism has grown dramatically since the ban came into place and that lifting it would affect the country's international reputation for conservation.

Shortly after coming into office in April 2018, President Mokgweetsi Masisi asked ministers to review the hunting ban which was implemented by his predecessor Ian Khama in 2014.

Public meetings were held and organisations, communities and individuals were asked to comment.

The report's findings recommend that:

  • the hunting ban should be lifted
  • the elephant population should be managed "within its historic range"
  • wildlife migratory routes "not beneficial to the country's conservation efforts" should be closed
  • game ranches be demarcated to "serve as buffers between communal and wildlife areas"
  • "regular but limited elephant culling" should be introduced
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Video captionHow to turn poachers into gamekeepers
President Masisi welcomed the report which will go through further consultation before being implemented.

"I can promise you and the nation that we will consider it. A white paper will follow and it will be shared with the public," he said.

"If needs be, we will give an opportunity to parliament to also interrogate it, and also allow them the space to intervene before we make a final determination."

Why is there increasing human-elephant conflict?
Surveys have shown that the elephant "range" - how far the elephants travel - has been expanding.

The director of Department of Wildlife and National Parks, Otisitwe Tiroyamodimo, said there were many factors involved, including climate change.

Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES
_105749727_gettyimages-1036343498.jpg

Image captionElephants are straying outside their historic habitat
"We started seeing that as soon as the rain started decreasing, the vegetation started deteriorating and then the elephants naturally migrated outside their natural range because they were getting very little water and very little feed," he said.

"The number of the elephants has increased - at the same time the human population also increased, and there has been demand for more land. Infrastructure development has also caused the elephants to migrate."

But the latest survey of wildlife in northern Botswana suggests their numbers are not increasing as many rural people suspect.

Those living close to elephants support the re-introduction of hunting, arguing the amount of conflict has increased since the ban was introduced.

Elephants can be very destructive when they encroach onto farmland and move though villages - destroying crops and sometimes killing people.

What is the reaction to lifting the hunting ban?
Those previously employed by hunting safari companies lost their jobs and say they would welcome the change.

Hunting can be used as a conservation tool, by utilising wilderness that is not suitable for the high-end photographic safaris that Botswana is famous for.

But many conservationists are against the idea of culling elephants or hunting them and warn there may be a backlash from international tourists.

Tourism is Botswana's second largest source of foreign income after diamond mining.

With an election due in October, the government has to balance lifting the hunting ban to win rural votes, against the impact it may have on Botswana's international reputation as a luxury safari destination.

BBC News - Botswana mulls lifting elephant hunting ban http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-47330414
 

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375 Ruger Fan

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My wife and I did a 3 day photo safari at Chobe and then went onto Vic Falls. Chobe was overrun with elephants. A cull hunt every few years sounds like a great idea.
 

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"But many conservationists are against the idea of culling elephants or hunting them and warn there may be a backlash from international tourists."

No, conservationists are not against hunting or culling.
Preservationists, Anti-hunting, ARA, greenies and other ill informed foreigners are.

I hope the President can walk the White Paper through the political mine field and get Botswana back on track to conservation.
 

Pheroze

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Hopefully better management will avoid the need for culls into the future.
 

rinehart0050

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I'm hoping all these studies and reports are part of a greater effort to no only reopen hunting, but get USFW to bless off on imports
 

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A Botswana elephant hunt would be a grand adventure!
 

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This just received from a friend in Bots:

HANDOVER NOTES OF THE CABINET SUB COMMITTEE ON HUNTING BAN SOCIAL DIALOGUE REPORT BY HON FRANS VAN DER WESTHUIZEN MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT (21/2/19) [FULL TEXT]

*Salutations*

1. It is my pleasure to officially handover a report of the Cabinet Sub Committee on Hunting Ban Social Dialogue to His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Botswana, Dr. Mokgweetsi Eric Keabetswe Masisi.

2. I wish to highlight that the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism, pursuant to Statutory Instrument no. 2 of 2014, took a decision to stop hunting of wildlife in all areas of Botswana effective January 2014.

3. Your Excellency, the hunting ban has become a subject for discussion in the country because of its apparent experience and observed consequences, with two schools of thought on the debate;

• Proponents of the hunting ban postulate that it is a good and noble conservation effort which will create a conducive environment for increased wildlife populations, and;
• Those against the hunting ban are of the view that hunting is a good wildlife management tool if properly implemented.

4. They maintain that if and when wildlife populations and human livelihoods are taken into consideration, this would translate to communities becoming good conservationists. It was also observed that as communities realize the potential value and associated income to be derived from wildlife resources and related activities, they will be converted to be good conservationists as opposed to concentrating on negative aspects of property destruction and loss of human lives caused by wildlife.

5. It is on the basis of the above that in June 2018 His Excellency the President established “The Hunting Ban Sub Committee of Cabinet” to kick-start a social dialogue aimed at reviewing the ban on hunting. The Cabinet Membership of this Committee is as follows;

• Minister of Local Government and Rural Development- Chairperson
• Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism
• Minister of Transport and Communications
• Minister of Employment, Labour Productivity and Skills Development
• Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sports and Culture Development
• Minister of Agricultural Development and Food Security
• Minister of Basic Education
• Assistant Minister for Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration

6. Your Excellency, this is a Consultation Report as assigned, it therefore embodies communication between those consulting and those consulted on the identified problem: The Hunting Ban. The report covers the consultation outline, opinions of those consulted, conclusions and the recommendations.

7. It is essential to note that the consultations covered Kgotla meetings, Full Council meetings as per Appendix 1 (page 33), submission of papers and meetings with individuals and private entities at different forums outside the kgotla. Those entities consulted include Elephants Without Borders, Community Trusts such as KALEPA-Kazungula, Lesoma, Pandamatenga, CECT-Chobe West as well as the NGO Council, Botswana Wildlife Producers Association and individuals including Richard White, Mark Kyriacou and Richard Pascall of Bartrek Ranch in Tsabong.

8. Your Excellency, the Terms of Reference as clearly highlighted on Page 4 of this report guided the process of consultation.

9. From the submissions made by the communities and other stakeholders, the Committee as assigned by Your Excellency, found it necessary to propose the following recommendations, stated here in summary form.

• Hunting ban be lifted.
• Develop a legal framework that will create an enabling environment for growth of safari hunting industry.
• Manage Botswana elephant population within its historic range
• Department of Wildlife and National Parks (DWNP) should undertake an effective community outreach program within the elephant range for Human Elephant Conflict mitigation
• Strategically placed human wildlife conflict fences be constructed in key hotspot areas
• Game ranches be demarcated to serve as buffers between communal and wildlife areas.
• Compensation for damage caused by wildlife, ex gratia amounts and the list of species that attract compensation be reviewed. In addition, other models that alleviate compensation burden on Government be considered.
• All wildlife migratory routes that are not beneficial to the country’s conservation efforts be closed.
• The Kgalagadi southwesterly antelope migratory route into South Africa should be closed by demarcating game ranches between the communal areas and Kgalagadi Wildlife Management Areas.
• Regular but limited elephant culling be introduced and establishment of elephant meat canning, including production of pet food and processing into other by products.

10. Your Excellency, with these few remarks I hereby officially handover the Report of the Cabinet Sub Committee on Hunting Ban Social Dialogue to you.

I thank you Sir.
 

WAB

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A Botswana elephant hunt would be a grand adventure!

It is, one of the greatest! I was fortunate to harvest one of the last elephant bulls taken in Botswana before the ban, and the actual last buffalo taken. The concessions are huge (1,000,000 acres) and unfenced. I drove through the old hunting blocks last year. The roads are overgrown, the areas are completely un-utilized.
 

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It is, one of the greatest! I was fortunate to harvest one of the last elephant bulls taken in Botswana before the ban, and the actual last buffalo taken. The concessions are huge (1,000,000 acres) and unfenced. I drove through the old hunting blocks last year. The roads are overgrown, the areas are completely un-utilized.

I can see myself going there!
 

WAB

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I can see myself going there!
Hunting an elephant properly (with your feet) in the Kalahari is a taste of the Africa I've dreamed of all my life. It changes you and makes the normal things of life pale by comparison. You find yourself in your office, trying unsuccessfully to focus on the task on hand, your mind drifting off to a different time and a different place.
 

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If they can actually cull some Elephants they could sure feed a lot of people on a sustainable basis.
 

Royal27

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I can see myself going there!

Johan Calitz was taking names for a waiting list at DSC just in case it opened up Charlie. Email him and get added before it gets any longer.

Who knows how many names he has on it already ???
 

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"But many conservationists are against the idea of culling elephants or hunting them and warn there may be a backlash from international tourists."

No, conservationists are not against hunting or culling.
Preservationists, Anti-hunting, ARA, greenies and other ill informed foreigners are.

I hope the President can walk the White Paper through the political mine field and get Botswana back on track to conservation.
Thank you! So tired of Conservationist being used to mean the nutty, misinformed, and might I say delusional Preservationists!
Philip
 

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Joubert and Company are going to town in the international press and Botswana is responding:

Ban the Butt head and his buddies from the country.

:S Ban::S Beat Dead Horse::S Horse Shit::S Troll:

"Hands off Botswana - media union warns Joubert, Chase & crew
The Botswana Media and Allied Workers Union (BOMAWU) notes with concern recent reports by local and international media, as well as remarks made by members of the international community, with regards to the proposed hunting ban and the elephant situation in Botswana.

We have also noted a BBC media report by Alastair Leithead featuring Dr Mike Chase, which questioned the commitment of the Government of Botswana to conservation and anti-poaching. Another newspaper article features one Dereck Joubert making alarmist and ill-advised statements regarding the recommendations of the Cabinet sub-Committee on the Hunting Ban. In the report, Joubert talks about “Botswana’s Blood Law” and threatens to do whatever he can to subvert what is by all intents and purposes just a recommendation.

SEE ALSO:
Our Government is world renowned for conducting its business in a transparent and consultative manner. It is disheartening that this Joubert would run to the media to tarnish our good reputation with careless alarmist phrases like “Botswana’s Blood Law” when he knows for a fact that the Government of Botswana is open for consultation. Why didn’t he seek audience with relevant Government officials to express his misgivings about the recommendations of the sub-Committee? It has also not escaped our attention that Joubert’s theatrics and the BBC featuring Dr. Chase charade all appeared at around the same time.

The Government of Botswana has made it clear that it has not made a decision on the recommendations of the Cabinet sub-Committee on the Hunting Ban. It is also clear that when it was introduced in 2014, the moratorium on hunting was not meant to be a permanent decision. We will fully support our Government when it decides to revoke the hunting ban.

Joubert will do well to remember that in the true spirit of consultation, the sub-Committee reached its conclusions after a nationwide consultative process that covered kgotla meetings, consulting with individuals, local authorities, researchers and other key stakeholders. Therefore his wishes and those of his friends will never come second to those of the majority of Batswana; who have to contend daily with destruction of their crops, devastation of their land and vegetation as well as loss of their loved ones to marauding elephants. More than anything, this Government puts Batswana first."
http://www.thepatriot.co.bw/analysi...na-media-union-warns-joubert,-chase-crew.html

 

tigris115

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Will the undoing of the hunting ban mean other animals are available like lion, buffalo, etc?
 

John Camp

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John Camp

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I hope the message sent is that the Botswana model failed. What is really important now is that they implement a management program that:
1. maintains ideal game populations
2. reduces poaching
3. reduces negative human/animal interactions
 

WAB

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it would appear so.

Over time perhaps. It sounds like they will ease back into it with initial hunts for ele in areas with ele human conflict issues.
 

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