By ALBERTINA NAKALE – New Era
Despite the negative impacts of Covid-19 on the trophy hunting sector, the environment ministry says there has been renewed interest with application for permits streaming in.
In an interview with New Era yesterday, the ministry’s spokesperson Romeo Muyunda could, however, not give the exact figure on the number of applications received since the announcement of reopening borders via the Hosea Kutako International Airport for inbound tourists early this month.
He said the banning of air travel affected trophy hunting tremendously, as no visitors were allowed into the country.
“This also affected the trophy hunters because they couldn’t come in to hunt –and this in return affected the conservancies because they were not making any income but had to pay out salaries to do anti-poaching patrols and human wildlife patrol,” Muyunda said.
Conservancy managers normally allocate 50% of the income from tourism concessions and hunting activities to community development projects.
There are some benefits that come from trophy hunting.
The benefits derived from conservation include income generation, job creation, rural electrification, water infrastructure and schools constructed and upgraded in Namibia.
Conservancies on average generate about N$100 million a year through trophy hunting.
In terms of rhino and elephant poaching, Muyunda said such incidences have decreased, compared to 2019.
He reported the total number of poached rhinos in 2019 is 46 – and this year, so far, only 16 rhinos were poached.
In 2019, he said a total of 13 elephants were poached but only two elephants have been poached this year.