Namibia’s wildlife status is firm- Shifeta
The Minister of Environment and Tourism, Hon. Pohamba Shifeta said the country’s wildlife conservation status is healthy due to combined efforts by government and the private business owners.
The Cabinet of Namibia has approved the country’s resistance on the ban and or restriction of hunting and export of wildlife products from Namibia, despite opposition stemming from the international community.
Urged by cabinet to actively campaign against any attempts made to stop hunting in Namibia, the ministry said efforts by government managed game parks, communal conservancies and freehold conservation areas has created room for preservation of game in the country.
About 44% of total area of Namibia as country is under some form of conservation (communal conservancies, national parks, concession areas, freehold farms).
Shifeta told the Economist that, “as a result of such efforts the wildlife populations have increased drastically and distribution range has expanded inside and outside national parks. Innovative policies and legislations underpin the conservation of wildlife in Namibia.”
“Since Independence, Namibia has adopted legislations and policies aimed at promoting wildlife as a sustainable form of land use,” added Shifeta.
Furthermore, Shifeta said wildlife currently contributes significantly to the national economic development and poverty reduction.
Currently wildlife utilization in Namibia is done both in communal and commercial areas, while annual take off is determined based on scientific evidence. This utilization is done under stringent control within the system of existing laws, policies and regulations to ensure wildlife sustainability.
Annually, over 5000 trophy hunters visit Namibia. The hunting season usually starts on the 1st of February to 30th November every year, where hunters are allowed to only hunt animals indicated on the permit they applied for.
Two hunting qualifications are; Big Game Professional Hunters, who are registered Namibian professional hunters who have passed the big game examination and Bow Hunting Professional Hunters, who are registered Namibian hunting professionals with an additional bow-hunting qualification.
The Namibian Professional Hunters Association (NaPHA) said that hunting professionals should comply with all the ministry’s trophy-hunting regulations.
According to NaPHA, trophy hunting may be practised from half an hour before sunrise, until half an hour after sunset. Trophy hunting may take place only on properties where permission has been granted by the landowner, while properties where bow hunting is practised must be registered additionally with MET for bow hunting.
Meanwhile, Cabinet also announced that a certain code of conduct for conservation hunting is being developed, accompanied by improvements in the regulation of and strengthening the link between hunting and conservation.