Game industry increasingly becoming more important to Namibia

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Game industry becoming increasingly more important to Namibia
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The economic contribution of the wildlife industry has exceeded that of the livestock.

At the same time, the game industry is regarded as essential for Namibia's adaptation to climate change.

The Minister of Environment and Tourism, Mr. Pohamba Shifeta, on Tuesday at the 46th annual meeting of the Namibia Professional Hunting Association (Napha) held in Windhoek, said that Namibia's conservation model has contributed to an increase in elephant, lion and black rhino populations.

This game is now even found in areas where it was previously extinct.

This is thanks to a conservation model whereby Namibians living with wild animals also enjoy rights to utilize the resource.

“The economic competitiveness of using land for wildlife purposes has driven Namibia's success with wildlife relocation. It also has great benefits for wildlife, biodiversity conservation, job creation and the economy, ”Shifeta said.

He added without the hunting industry, large parts of the country would be unproductive.

"If we lose the hunting industry, it will have a significant impact on conservation and harm the competitiveness of the game industry as a way to use land," he said.

"Any ban on the importation of hunting trophies threatens to undo all progress we have made since independence," he said.

Shifeta also believes that the game sector helps with food security in the country, as 95% of the meat produced on private agricultural land remains in Namibia.

He said regardless of numerous calls to end conservation hunting, the Namibian government is ready to defend it and its contribution to conservation as well as socio-economic development.

During the event, Napha's president, Ms. Danene van der Westhuyzen said despite people like Greta Thunberg's action against climate change, hunters are still portrayed as criminals and murderers.

She says at the same time cattle and sheep farmers are never asked why they kill something they care about and love.

Van der Westhuyzen said the world is becoming more aware of their responsibility to wildlife and conservation and this gives hunters an opportunity to make their case.

She encouraged hunters to state their cause and not hide that they were hunters.

“We are custodians in the first place. We are tired of being left and right for blows and being stripped of our identity - just to meet society's requirements or be politically correct, ”she said.

Nordisk Safari Club's Mr. Jens Ulrik Høgh, a world-renowned wildlife conservationer, author, publisher and editor of Denmark who was also a speaker at the event, believes Namibia is the champion of nature conservation in the world.



The original version in Afrikaans below:


Wildbedryf al hoe belangriker vir Namibië
Noodsaaklik vir aanpassing

Die ekonomiese bydrae van die wildbedryf het dié van die lewende hawe verbygesteek.

Terselfdertyd word die wildbedryf as noodsaaklik vir Namibië se aanpassing by klimaatsverandering beskou.

Die minister van die omgewing en toerisme, mnr. Pohamba Shifeta, het Dinsdag tydens die 46ste jaarvergadering van die Namibië Professionele Jagvereniging (Napha) wat in Windhoek gehou is, gesê Namibië se bewaringsmodel het daartoe bygedra dat olifant-, leeu- en swartrenosterbevolkings stelselmatig toegeneem het.

Dié wild kom nou selfs in gebiede voor waar dit voorheen uitgewis is.

Dít danksy ’n bewaringsmodel waarvolgens Namibiërs wat met wilde diere saamleef, ook regte geniet om die hulpbron te benut.

“Die ekonomiese mededingendheid daarvan om grond vir wilddoeleindes te gebruik, het Namibië se sukses met die hervestiging van wild gedryf. Dit hou ook groot voordele vir wildlewe, die bewaring van biodiversiteit, werkskepping en die ekonomie in,” het Shifeta gesê.

Hy het bygevoeg sonder die jagbedryf sou groot dele van die land onproduktief wees.

“As ons die jagbedryf verloor, sal dit ’n beduidende impak op bewaring hê en die mededingendheid van die wildbedryf benadeel as ’n manier om grond te gebruik,” het hy gesê.

“Enige verbod op die invoer van jagtrofeë dreig om alle vordering ongedaan te maak wat ons sedert onafhanklikwording gemaak het,” het hy gesê.

Shifeta meen die wildsektor help boonop met voedselsekuriteit in die land, omdat 95% van die wildsvleis wat op private landbougrond geproduseer word, in Namibië bly.

Hy het gesê ongeag talle oproepe om bewaringsjag te beëindig, is die Namibiese regering gereed om dit en die bydrae daarvan tot bewaring asook tot sosioëkonomiese ontwikkeling te verdedig.

Tydens die geleentheid het Napha se president, me. Danene van der Westhuyzen, gesê ondanks mense soos Greta Thunberg se aksie teen klimaatsverandering word jagters steeds as misdadigers en moordenaars uitgebeeld.

Sy sê terselfdertyd word bees- en skaapboere nooit gevra hoekom hulle iets doodmaak waarvoor hulle omgee en lief is nie.

Van der Westhuyzen het gesê die wêreld raak al meer bewus van hul verantwoordelikheid teenoor wildlewe en bewaring en dit bied jagters ’n geleentheid om hul saak te stel.

Sy het jagters aangemoedig om hul saak te stel en nie weg te steek dat hulle jagters is nie.

“Ons is in die eerste plek bewaarders. Ons is moeg daarvoor om links en regs vir houe te koes en van ons identiteit gestroop te word – net om aan die samelewing se vereistes te voldoen of polities korrek te wees,” het sy gesê.

Nordisk Safari Klub se mnr. Jens Ulrik Høgh, ’n wêreldbekende wildbewaarder, skrywer, uitgewer en redakteur van Denemarke wat ook ’n spreker by die geleentheid was, meen Namibië is dié kampioen van natuurbewaring in die wêreld.
 

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