FAO – CIC publications

Practical Summary of Experiences after Three Decades of Community-based Wildlife Conservation in Africa “What are the Lessons Learnt?”

Africa’s wildlife is under siege – no doubt. The loss of habitat that results from population growth, poaching and unsuitable wildlife management drive the wonderful and valuable natural resource “wildlife” into extinction at many places. Well meant hunting bans in some countries have speeded up the decline.

In Southern Africa private game ranches had surprising results: Wildlife numbers have soared and game roams on land, where it became extinct decades ago. In other countries wildlife is owned and managed by the state, and this has mostly not been a success.

For thirty years community based conservation of wildlife has developed as a third option. It has proved successful in several countries, where the Governments have been sympathetic and supportive. In other cases, it had limited success only. Recently this approach has been criticized by animal welfare groups, which are opposed to hunting.

The CIC together with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations found that it is about time to critically review and summarize the experiences of the last three decades in order to draw conclusions for future successful wildlife management and for strategies to reduce or stop the loss of biodiversity.

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The Selous – Niassa Wildlife Corridor in Tanzania:

Biodiversity Conservation from the Grassroots

e09f4cbc1bPractical Experiences and Lessons from Integrating Local Communities into Trans-boundary Natural Resources Management

In Southern Africa cross-border conservation initiatives traditionally started from the top with the signing of protocols by the heads of state. However, trans-boundary conservation activities ultimately take place at local level and more often than not the local level administration and managers, and in particular local communities most dependent on natural resources, have been neglected in the planning and implementation process. Since there is growing consensus that conservation of biodiversity, natural resources and wildlife depends on the cooperation and involvement of communities living at the resource base, their level of participation and ownership are also key for the development of successful cross-border conservation.

How this can be achieved in practical terms is demonstrated with the development of the Selous – Niassa Wildlife Corridor, an initiative receiving official support from the German Government and the Global Environment Facility in form of different projects based on agreements concluded with the Tanzanian Government.

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A Comparison of the Prices of Hunting Tourism in Southern and Eastern Africa

4855eb86a8Hunting tourism has been conducted in 7 eastern and southern African countries for more than 50 years and recently Uganda has re-opened hunting. This form of wildlife utilization generates significant income for community-based natural resource programs and contributes to the national economies of these countries – approximately 70% of the total cost of a Big Game Safari will enter the economy of the host country in the form of government licences and outfitter operating expenses.

Sustainable hunting tourism, or conservation hunting as it is sometimes called, therefore is an important tool in promoting conservation and rural development across a broad spectrum of landscapes. In terms of gross revenue generation the conservation hunting industry appears to be robust with growth being recorded in South Africa and Namibia but not in the other major southern and eastern African destinations. The key instruments that generate this income are the cost of various hunting packages offered by hunting operations. Understanding the market trends is therefore essential in determining the value that wildlife brings to local, national and regional economies.

Over 100 websites representing a broad spectrum of hunting operations from Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Mozambique, South Africa and Namibia were visited in 2008 and 2009 to gather data on the marketing strategies of this industry. This paper reviews the data gathered to establish the mean daily rate, trophy fee and hunt duration for a selection of hunting packages ranging from classic big game safaris to plains game ranch hunts. These data are then compared to determine marketing and pricing strategies for the various hunting packages across the region. From this a number of conclusions are drawn regarding the future growth of the industry.

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