Opinion: How Hunting Black Rhino Contributes To Conservation In Namibia


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Dec 18, 2015
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Source: https://africageographic.com/blog/opinion-how-hunting-black-rhino-contributes-conservation-namibia/

Opinion: How hunting black rhino contributes to conservation in Namibia


OPINION POST by Dr Chris Brown and Gail C. Potgieter, on behalf of the Namibian Chamber of Environment’s 64 member conservation organisations

Conservation organisations in Namibia support the recent decision by the US Fish and Wildlife Service to grant an import permit for a black rhino trophy from our country. Responses to this decision from some US organisations and the public, however, reveal that there is still strong opposition to hunting. We believe that this opposition stems from a lack of knowledge and understanding of how hunting fits into the Namibian conservation model. Please allow us to explain.

Against the backdrop of a global extinction crisis and booming illegal wildlife trade that fuels poaching throughout Africa, Namibia is an exceptional conservation success story. We are amongst a handful of countries in the world that have enabled wild animals like rhinos to increase in their natural habitat. After nearly losing all our precious free-ranging black rhinos during the dark apartheid era, we are proud of the fact that today, Namibia hosts close to 2,000 black rhinos. These account for 33% of the entire black rhino species and 85% of the south-western subspecies.

By global standards Namibia is not a wealthy country. Many Namibians struggle to meet their daily needs in the harsh desert environment, a situation that may worsen with climate change. Our government is faced with numerous competing socio-economic demands for its scarce resources – education, health and drought relief, to name a few. Dedicating funds to protect black rhinos from poachers while simultaneously meeting manifold development challenges is tough, to say the least.

The Namibian solution to this daunting task is to use the full value of our rhinos and other wildlife to fund conservation and sustainable development. In a welcome departure from the exclusionary policies of the past, our post-apartheid independent government has included local people as key partners and beneficiaries of wildlife conservation.

Read more here: https://africageographic.com/blog/opinion-how-hunting-black-rhino-contributes-conservation-namibia/

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