While the UK government has been considering a ban on imports of hunting trophies, the South African government recently approved an annual maximum quota of ten legal trophy hunts of endangered black rhinos for 2022. South Africa has permitted white rhino hunts, without quota limits, since 1972.
Dr Francis Vorhies, Director of OGRC partner initiative, the African Wildlife Economy Institute, comments on how AWEI is exploring the potential for wild food to deliver a range of benefits to people and planet.
Wild plants are of fundamental importance to the wildlife economy, it was emphasised at a dialogue on how to protect and grow the sector, held in Stellenbosch in early March.
The fragility of business models for Africa’s protected areas has been exposed by continent-wide closure of the tourism sector in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. These areas have traditionally relied on three sources of funding – subsidies from national governments, tourism-related revenues such as entrance fees and leasing fees for lodges, and international aid. National funding for African protected areas has always been modest. During the lockdown, tourism revenue disappeared, and multilateral aid flows were redirected to Covid-related priorities.
Africa’s iconic wildlife forms a key part of the continent’s identity and is globally significant, both ecologically and economically. As the twenty-first century progresses, how is Africa’s economy likely to evolve and what role will this vital natural heritage play within it?
OGRC partner initiative, the African Wildlife Economy Institute, reflects on the potential of wildlife economies to transform, enhance, and maintain landscapes in Africa and elsewhere that deliver biodiversity conservation, climate resilience, inclusive economic opportunities, and community well-being.
Trophy hunting takes place across much of sub-Saharan Africa with South Africa, Namibia and Tanzania holding the lion’s share of the market. The debate over its utility as a source of conservation revenue takes on a new urgency in the light of COVID-19.
The global pandemic has wreaked havoc to our very existence as a species and has demanded a change in the way we function in the economy and our daily survival. The world is a different place to what it was just a few months ago, and the veil of not knowing torments our society.