Legislators in the diamond rich country are calling for an urgent lifting of the hunting and shooting ban on elephants outside national parks and game reserves in the country.
In a motion that was adopted in parliament earlier this month, legislator Kostantinos Markus argued that there were some factors that required the lifting of the ban. He mentioned, among others, increased cases of human/wildlife conflict; reduced local benefits from tourism through the Community-Based Natural Resources Management (CBNRM) programme; as well as fewer benefits from photographic tourism.
Quoted by TourismUpdate.co.za, Markus said the hunting ban had resulted in reduced tourism benefits previously enjoyed by local communities through the CBNRM: “In the first 12 months after the hunting ban, communities involved in the CBNRM programme in the Ngamiland District lost approximately P7m (€582.290) as well as 200 jobs.”
Markus argues that elephant populations had increased so that elephants were now found in areas where they were previously rare and, sadly, there were growing instances of loss of life from elephant attacks on people.
Markus said ignoring human wellbeing to achieve conservation goals was morally wrong and often defeated the sustainable development aspirations.
Botswana President, Mokgweetsi Masisi, told reporters last month that government would open discussion on the hunting ban. “We are going to discuss how we manage our wildlife species, and discuss openly whether or not we open up for hunting. We will discuss it and settle it.”