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What to do with 130,000 elephants? – environment chamber supports Botswana’s course on elephant populations

What to do with 130,000 elephants? – environment chamber supports Botswana’s course on elephant populations

Statement by the Namibian Chamber of Environment, representing 42 conservation groups.

A Sub Committee appointed by President Masisi of Botswana recently made its recommendations in a White Paper regarding the hunting ban and human-elephant conflict.

We, as Namibian Conservationists, including environmental NGOs, researchers, community representatives and conservancies, hereby join a group of international conservationists in voicing our support for Botswana’s consultative process to address the challenges associated with managing its large elephant population. We applaud President Masisi and Botswana’s parliament for establishing the consultative process that looks to balance wildlife conservation with the needs and aspirations of the citizens of Botswana.

Namibia has felt the burden of international pressure against our policies that encourage the devolution of rights over, and sustainable use of, natural resources. We therefore take this opportunity to stand in solidarity with Botswana. We would like to draw your attention to an article in Africa Geographic that sets forth the following important issues that have not been highlighted in other media reports covering this story.

1) President Masisi’s establishment of the subcommittee to conduct a thorough Social Dialogue is a welcome move towards a more democratic style of governance.

2) Masisi’s administration once more opened the research permit application system, which signals his understanding of the role of objective conservation research in finding new solutions to human-elephant conflict.

3) The process embarked upon by Masisi’s administration is a welcome return to Botswana’s historic emphasis on consultation with people at the grassroots level. This also presents an opportunity to strengthen Community-Based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM) in the country.

As Namibian organisations with extensive experience with the CBNRM programme in our country, we are especially interested in extending our support regarding point 3 above. This new dawn for Botswana will present many challenges and opportunities as the government once more involves local communities in wildlife management and conservation. We are therefore ready and willing to assist the government of Botswana in these important endeavours by drawing on the lessons we have learned in Namibia.

Yours in Conservation,

Namibian Chamber of Environment, supported by 42 member and partner organisations.

(Image by Conservation Action Trust)

List of supporting organisations:

  1. African Conservation Services cc
  2. African Foundation
  3. Ashby Associates cc
  4. A Speiser Environmental Consultants cc
  5. Brown Hyena Research Project Trust
  6. Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF)
  7. Desert Lion Conservation Trust
  8. Development Workshop Namibia
  9. Eco Awards Namibia
  10. EduVentures
  11. Environmental Compliance Consulting
  12. EnviroScience
  13. Giraffe Conservation Foundation
  14. Gobabeb Research and Training Centre
  15. Greenspace
  16. Integrates Rural Development and Nature Conservation (IRDNC)
  17. JARO Consultancy
  18. Kwando Carnivore Programme
  19. N/a’an ku sê Foundation
  20. Namibian Associations of CBNRM Support Organisations (NACSO)
  21. Namib Desert Environmental Education Trust
  22. Namibia Biomass Industry Group (Incorporated Association not for gain)
  23. Namibia Bird Club
  24. Namibia Nature Foundation (NNF)
  25. Namibia Professional Hunting Association (NAPHA)
  26. Namibian Environment and Wildlife Society (NEWS)
  27. Namibian Hydrogeological Association
  28. NamibRand Nature Reserve
  29. Otjikoto Trust
  30. Research and Information Services of Namibia (RAISON)
  31. Rare & Endangered Species Trust (REST)
  32. Rooikat Trust
  33. Southern African Institute for Environmental Assessment (SAIEA)
  34. Save The Rhino Trust (SRT)
  35. Scientific Society Swakopmund
  36. Seabirds and Marine Ecosystems Programme
  37. Seeis Conservancy
  38. Sustainable Solutions Trust (SST)
  39. Tourism Supporting Conservation (Tosco) Trust
  40. Venture Media
  41. Zambia Community-based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM) Forum
  42. Zambia National Community Resource Boards (CRBs) Association

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