Community Benefits From Tourist Safari Hunting

Conservation Force

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Jun 23, 2010
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Community Benefits from Tourist Safari Hunting (August 22, 2018)

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Hunters have a relationship with rural communities as well as wildlife, and they highly value both. The habitat and wildlife are a common bond that benefits the hunter, and the rural people that need each other.

Regulated hunting benefits the people living in CBNRM areas by generating revenues, and by job creation, game meat distributions, voluntary contributions from hunting operators and clients, and development of “multiplier” industries (e.g., taxidermy, transport). Voluntary contributions from hunting operators and clients include, among other things, construction of schools, donation of school supplies, and payment of school fees; construction and electrification of clinics and funding for mobile clinic units; construction or rehabilitation of water infrastructure; provision of or funding for drought‐relief food supplies; funding and transport for sports teams; support for local governments; and much more. For these reasons, a recent study of communal conservancy residents in Namibia found that “an overwhelming majority (91%) of respondents stated they would not be in favor of a ban on trophy hunting, and only 11% of respondents believe their community would continue to support or strongly support wildlife on communal lands if a ban were in fact enacted.”6 In other words, 89% of respondents would not support wildlife on their land without the incentives generated from regulated hunting. According to the survey results, “[m]ost respondents strongly agreed that trophy hunting provides benefits to communities and were happy with it taking place on communal lands.” The authors noted: “Results from elsewhere in Africa also suggest that where tangible benefits are received … from hunting, local communities have more favorable attitudes towards wildlife.”7 As demonstrated in the above table, local communities benefit significantly from hunting revenues and other incentives.

CBNRM programs benefit wildlife by increasing the amount of habitat for wildlife; reducing poaching through community game scouts, resource monitors, and incentives; and incentivizing greater tolerance among rural communities. As the U.S. Agency for International Development has recognized, Namibia’s communal conservancies “have contributed to the widespread and well‐documented recovery of wildlife in Namibia’s communal lands, particularly in the semi‐arid northwest, including rare or endangered species such as elephants, rhinos, and lions.” In Tanzania, “WMAs represent the best hope for conserving wildlife outside of Tanzanian protected areas while enhancing rural economic development … Safari hunting provides a valuable source of revenue for WMAs, especially in areas that are less attractive for photographic tourism. Having an abundance of animals to hunt is a direct benefit of conserving wildlife resources. The more wild animals the WMA manages and conserves, the more revenue it can generate. These are very tangible benefits and linkages that can be easily understood at the community level and are good incentives to reduce poaching and retaliatory killings of animals such as lions.”8

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has acknowledged the importance of CBNRM in enhancement findings and other documents. For example: “Conservation programs that generate direct benefits to the local people are often regarded as the only truly effective means to implement lasting conservation measures.”9

Similarly, Russell Train, the chair and founder of WWF‐US, emphasized the importance of CBNRM and the benefits generated by regulated hunting in stating “elephant hunting provides ‘the most efficient and cost‐effective form of producing economic benefits for local people that you can find.”10

For these reasons, the International Union for Conservation has concluded: “[L]egal, well‐regulated trophy hunting programmes can – and do – play an important role in delivering benefits for both wildlife conservation and for the livelihoods and wellbeing of indigenous and local communities living with wildlife … [W]ell‐managed trophy hunting … can and does generate critically needed incentives and revenue for government, private and community landowners to maintain and restore wildlife as a land use and to carry out conservation actions (including anti‐poaching interventions). It can return much needed income, jobs, and other important economic and social benefits to indigenous and local communities in places where these benefits are often scarce. In many parts of the world indigenous and local communities have chosen to use trophy hunting as a strategy for conservation of their wildlife and to improve sustainable livelihoods … Communities benefit from trophy hunting through hunting concession payments or other hunter investments, which typically support improved community services like water infrastructure, schools and health clinics; gaining jobs as guides, game guards, wildlife managers and other hunting‐related employment; and gaining access to meat. These are typically poor rural communities with very few alternative sources of income and sometimes no other legal source of meat.”11

1 National Administration for Conservation Areas (ANAC), Republic of Mozambique, Comment on the U.S. Endangered Species Act Review of the Leopard (Jan. 2017); Non‐ Detriment Findings for Panthera leo (Africa Lion) Sport Hunting in Mozambique (Oct. 2016).
2 Namibian Association of CBNRM Support Organizations, Website & The State of Community Conservation in Namibia: Annual Report (2016); R. Naidoo et al., Complementary Benefits of Tourism and Hunting to Communal Conservancies in Namibia, 30 Conservation Biology (Jan. 8, 2016).
3 Tanzania Wildlife Management Authority (TAWA), United Republic of Tanzania, Non‐Detriment Findings on African Lion (Panthera leo) in Tanzania, including Enhancement Findings (Updated June 2017); Community Wildlife Management Areas Consortium, The Role of Local Communities in Enhancing Wildlife Conservation in Tanzania (2016); Conservation Force, Tanzania Operators Summary Report (2016).
4 Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW), Republic of Zambia, Non‐Detrimental Findings Report for African Leopard Sport Hunting in Zambia (May 2018); Enhancement and Non‐Detriment Findings for African Lion Sport Hunting in Zambia (May 2016).
5 Parks and Wildlife Management Authority, Republic of Zimbabwe, Enhancement and Non‐Detrimental Findings for Panthera leo in Zimbabwe (Oct. 2016); CAMPFIRE Association, The Role of Trophy Hunting of Elephant in Support of the Zimbabwe CAMPFIRE Program (Dec. 2016).
6 H. Angula et al., Local Perceptions of Trophy Hunting on Communal Land in Namibia, 218 Biological Conservation 26‐31 (2018).
7 H. Angula et al., Local Perceptions of Trophy Hunting on Communal Land in Namibia, 218 Biological Conservation 26‐31 (2018).
8 U.S. Agency for International Development Tanzania, Tanzania Wildlife Management Areas Final Evaluation Report (July 2013).
9 M. Phillips, African Elephant Conservation Act, 23 Endangered Species Bulletin No. 2‐3 (Mar./June 1998);
10 R. Bonner, At the Hand of Man: Peril and Hope for Africa’s Wildlife (1993), p. 241.
11 IUCN, Informing Decisions on Trophy Hunting (Apr. 2016).



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Neil Molendyk

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Jul 23, 2014
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Alberta Canada
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Excellent article, thank you for making this available, I wish the anti's would read and comprehend the common sense of it.


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Jun 17, 2009
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Great reference material!

Thanks again Mr. Jackson to you and everyone in your office for all that you do for us.

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