Milestone in lion conservation – First African lion Range States meeting held by CITES and CMS
An intergovernmental meeting was held in Entebbe, Uganda earlier this week, where the representatives of 28 African lion Range States met to reach an agreement on the important steps that need to be taken, to manage, conserve, and recover precious lion species and its habitat in Africa.
The CIC expresses its admiration for the leaders from Range States, who, at outcome of the meeting, recognized the positive impact that trophy hunting brings to conservation. “…all lion Range States present accepting that trophy hunting of lions, if well managed, is a good conservation tool that should not be jeopardized by CITES or CMS”.
In the communiqué, they stated:
“Highlight the benefits that trophy hunting, where it is based on scientifically established quotas, taking into account the social position, age and sex of an animal, have, in some countries, contributed to the conservation of lion populations and highlight the potentially hampering effects that import bans on trophies could have for currently stable lion populations;”
The CIC agrees that improvements in trophy hunting management is necessary in Range States where the population has decreased, despite trophy hunting not being the main reason for the decreases. The 12% increase in the population of South Africa, Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe proves that sound management, which includes trophy hunting, contributes to both lion conservation and the livelihoods of rural people.
The CIC is of the opinion that a CITES Appendix I listing for the entire species is uncalled for as a number of populations do not meet the criteria for such a listing and would punish countries with proven, sound conservation programs. Maintenance of the species in Appendix II of CITES or a split listing are therefore the preferred options.
For more information, please read the CITES CMS Joint press release