[box] The following is a report by the International Council For Game and Wildlife Conservation (CIC) on African Nations’ response to a German Political Party calling for a ban on trophy hunting ahead of their election later this year.[/box]
Resource Africa have published an open letter to Germany’s Green Party (Alliance 90/The Greens) expressing concern over their commitment to ban “trophy hunting” in the run up to Germany’s general election which will take place later this year.
The news comes after two similarly critical letters were sent to Alliance 90/The Greens earlier this week; the first sent by the Community Leaders Network (CLN), and the second being an open letter jointly published by the German Delegation of the CIC and Deutscher Jagdverband.
Resource Africa state that the party has been misled by animal rights campaigners, suggesting that such campaigners “perpetuate the mistaken and dangerous claim” that a ban on “trophy hunting” would save African wildlife species from extinction.
While they do commend Alliance 90/The Greens for their overall approach to human rights and social transformation, they argue that a ban on hunting trophy imports would undermine human rights in Africa, stating that:
“Campaigns against trophy hunting devalue black lives, deny local communities the right to self-determination, and jeopardise community-based approaches to wildlife conservation that have been proven to work for decades.”
The importance of having discussions with the stakeholders and rural representatives from the areas that would be affected by such a ban was emphasised in Resource Africa’s press release concerning this news.
“Animal protection organisations in the West are lobbying their governments to make decisions that would seriously undermine our rights to manage our wildlife on our land. They haven’t consulted African people or African governments and ignore our lived experiences and the scientific evidence of our successful strategies. Surely Alliance ‘90 and other political parties will value the human rights of millions of rural Africans above the sensibilities of a small but vocal lobby.” – Mr Charles Jonga, CLN member and Director of the CAMPFIRE Association (Zimbabwe).
This is particularly important when considering the stark contrast in the perceived views of Africa, and the reality that many rural peoples and indigenous communities are facing there today.
In order to tackle this issue effectively, Resource Africa urged the party to hold discussions with the relevant African community representatives. The Programmes Manager for Resource Africa, Dr Moreangels Mbizah, who is also a CLN member, said the following on this point:
“Green parties in Germany and elsewhere want a future in which people and the environment both thrive. Rural Africans want the same thing. That is why the Community Leaders Network wrote to Alliance ‘90 last week offering to discuss common ground. It’s not too late to replace their proposed hunting import ban with a more progressive and socially just approach to conservation in Africa.”
The CIC expresses its full support of Resource Africa on this issue, and would also encourage politicians, in both Germany and beyond, to look to engage with the relevant stakeholders when making any policy decisions related to wildlife management.
To download a copy of the letter, please click here.