Botswana’s neighbours back hunting, culling of elephants

Apr 17, 2019 | News

By APA News

Botswana’s neighbours, namely, Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe have reaffirmed their support to Botswana’s management plans on elephants which include among others lifting of hunting ban and culling of elephants, APA learned here Tuesday.In a statement, the ministers from these countries responsible for tourism who met recently to review progress on the establishment and development of the Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA TFCA), said “We note with concern the debate and criticism on elephant population management, status, new policies and programmes for the Republic of Botswana.”

The statement added that “We confirm that the Republic of Angola, the Republic of Namibia, the Republic of Zambia and the Republic of Zimbabwe as partner countries of the KAZA TFCA along with the Republic of Botswana support the new policies and programmes on elephant population management and sustainable use for the Republic of Botswana.”

The KAZA TFCA is a conservation and development partnership of the Governments of Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe. A key objective of the KAZA TFCA is to join fragmented wildlife habitats into an interconnected mosaic of protected areas and with ecologically functional transboundary wildlife movement corridors as well as dispersal areas, which facilitate and enhance the free movement of wildlife across international boundaries, and opening up of larger landscapes and habitats for wildlife.

In this regard, the ministers said “We therefore call upon critics on elephant population management and status to stop and allow the Republic of Botswana, and KAZA TFCA in general, to implement policies and programmes on elephant management and sustainable use thereof, for improved economic growth, species management and community livelihoods.”

A Botswana ministerialcommittee recently submitted a report on the issue to President Mokgweetsi Masisi, including several recommendations on elephant overpopulation, including the lifting of the 2014 hunting ban and culling of elephants

The recommendations elicited mixed reactions from prominent conservationists referring to them as “blood laws,” while other experts and researchers have defended them noting that the overpopulation was impacting negatively on other species and contributing to an increase in human/wildlife conflict.
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