Namibia: Significant Income Stream From Trophy Hunting Projected
Professional hunting activities are expected to bring in more than N$ 4.3 million to the Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET) this financial year, according to the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) for the 2016/2017 to 2018/2019 financial years tabled by Minister of Finance Calle Schlettwein.
Estimates include N$3.8 million from wildlife utilization permits and N$150,000 from the registration of professional hunters, while other registration and licenses is estimated to rake in about N$42, 000 during this financial year. The total number of conservancies in the country stands at 83 and benefits more than 300,000 rural Namibians. A total of 71 were awarded wildlife utilization quotas and trophy hunting, which has become the most important contributor of income to conservancies after photographic joint venture tourism.
“The Community Based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM) program has again proven that it can contribute towards the alleviation of poverty and the plight of rural communities. Development of enterprises to diversify income opportunities in many conservancies has been a key target and this was achieved under the CBNRM program,” a summary assessment of recent past performance achievements in the MTEF stated.
Concerns and debates around the role of trophy hunting in conservation areas raged last year after the killing of ‘Cecil the lion’ in Zimbabwe and an endangered black rhino in Namibia. These two incidents triggered the demand to ban trophy hunting in Namibia and throughout Africa, and some major airlines last year banned the transportation of hunters’ animal trophies. Meanwhile, the Namibian Cabinet directed the MET to actively campaign against such attempts to ban or restrict hunting and the export of wildlife products.