Resource Africa have released a video edition of their open letter addressed to UK celebrities, which was published in July, 2020. Signed by over 50 community leaders and written on behalf of millions of people from eight southern African countries, the letter urges celebrities to stop using their influence to undermine African livelihoods and conservation efforts.
The video, entitled “Let Africans Decide,” reiterates the importance of sustainable wildlife use for many southern African communities, many of whom are living below the poverty line.
Not only does sustainable use provide vital income to countless people in wildlife areas, it also provides economic incentives for those that must deal with the consequences and conflicts that occur as a result of coexisting with wildlife.
In addition, countless conservation successes would not have occurred without these types of operations taking place in rural areas.
The open letter calls for a response to actions preventing communities from exercising their rights and conserving the wildlife on their lands.
Such actions include those of the United Kingdom’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), which conducted a consultation on the controls that govern the import and export of hunting trophies in and out of the UK.
While the results of this consultation have not yet been released, it is feared that it could result in the introduction of further restrictions on the movement of trophies – a move that would be devastating for indigenous peoples and rural communities (IPLCs).
The CIC urges DEFRA, and others looking to introduce restrictions on the hunting trophy trade, to consult with the relevant stakeholders before making decisions that could have unintended consequences for wildlife and people.