Yesterday, December 2nd 2014, the long-awaited IUCN – African Elephant Summit kicked off in Gaborone, Botswana. It became apparent right from the start that sustainable use and the merits of sustainable hunting were somewhat “side-lined”, but, according to informed sources, are slowly finding their way into the negotiated text of the summit outcome document.
It is interesting to note that, in relation to the trophy hunting ban becoming effective in January 2014 in Botswana, the country’s Minister of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism Mr. T. S. Khama, according to the financial part of the national newspaper MMEGI Monitor, just yesterday declared: “…If we see it necessary to re-introduce trophy hunting then the ban will be lifted.”
The CIC was asked earlier to submit comments on the so called draft “urgent measures” which need to be taken for Elephant conservation and would, after the debates, constitute the results of the Elephant Summit. For the time being, the draft urgent measures are available here .
It is explicitly mentioned in draft urgent measures 9 and 12 that “the economic contribution of elephants directly (through tourism and permitted sustainable consumptive use) and indirectly (through beneficial ecological processes and cultural values) to the local and national economies in the broadest sense must be transmitted.”
The CIC wishes to re-emphasize the importance of sustainable elephant hunting and related hunting tourism in Africa as a precondition for the long term conservation of wildlife and their habitats. Sustainable hunting is part of the second pillar of the Convention on Biological Diversity and provides income to local communities as an incentive for wildlife conservation.
It is the communities living with elephants that need to be engaged as active partners in their conservation. Further efforts are needed to support the rights and capacity of local communities to manage and benefit from wildlife.
You will find the CIC comments on urgent measures here http://www.cic-wildlife.org/wp..._urgent_measures.pdf