The New York Times published an article on September 18th titled “A Hunting Ban Saps a Village’s Livelihood” which gives readers insight into how the implementation of hunting bans can lead to increased human-wildlife conflict and loss of livelihoods in rural African villages. In the case of Sankuyo, a remote community near the Okavango Delta in Botswana, the hunting ban imposed by the country two years ago has caused major problems. The hunting ban came after animal rights activist President Seretse Khama Ian Khama of Botswana promoted making a switch to photographic tourism and banning hunting.
Prior to the ban, Sankuyo earned hundreds of thousands of dollars from the trophy hunts it was permitted to offer. The profits from these hunts allowed the villagers to install toilets and standpipes (for running water), build houses, and give scholarships and pensions out to those that need it. With the hunting ban, however, came the loss of much of that critical income and the rise of human-wildlife conflict throughout the village. On top of that all comes increasing fear and anger towards the animals which has resulted in retaliation killings which generate no income and are not scientifically selected animals for taking. From lions and hyenas killing valuable livestock to elephants destroying crops, the villagers now see the wildlife as a nuisance. Without an incentive to protect them, like that which trophy hunting provided, they have no choice but to protect what has now become their sole source of income (livestock and crops) first.
Read the full article here.
The photo is only illustration. Copyright: Aliz Ertler.