Hunting and tourism in Namibia

Elephants

Dr Chris Brown, Namibian Chamber of Environment writes:

I am not a hunter. Nor have I ever been. I am a vegetarian (since the age of about 11), I am part of the environmental NGO sector and I have interests in the tourism industry in Namibia.

So, it might surprise you that I am a strong supporter of the hunting industry in Namibia, and indeed, throughout Africa. Having said that, I should qualify my support. I am a strong supporter of legal, ethical hunting of indigenous wildlife within sustainably managed populations, in large open landscapes. The reason is simple. Well-managed hunting is extremely good for conservation. In many areas, it is essential for conservation.

There is much confusion and misconception, particularly in the urban industrialised world and thus by most western tourists that visit Namibia, about the role of hunting in conservation. Urban industrialised societies, and I include many biologists and recognised conservation organisations in this grouping, see hunting as undermining conservation, or the anathema of conservation. And they see protecting wildlife and removing all incentives for its consumptive use as promoting and achieving good conservation. Nothing could be further from the truth.