Bridging Humanity: Unveiling the Untold Stories of Hunting and Conservation 

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The 70th General Assembly of the CIC opened on Friday 19 April 2024, in Cascais, Portugal, with some 350 delegates attending from across the globe.

Held under the theme “Bridges to Biodiversity,” the conference sought to explore the organisation’s role as a convener, uniting diverse stakeholders in support of the 2030 Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) with the implementation of the 2030 Strategic Plan, which was adopted as part of proceedings.

In this session Dr. Zoltán Kovács, State Secretary for International Communication and Relations of Hungary and Head of the Hungarian Delegation of the CIC was stressing the importance of controlling the narrative around hunting. He noted that the narrative often matters more than content and substance, while always being more political. It was stressed that the hunting community has to adapt to the times and counter the rise of a movement that often disregards the rules and science, preferring to make their narrative about emotions.

He called for working on the political level, drawing attention to Hungary taking the Presidency of the European Council in July as an opportunity to present CIC suggestions.


In his keynote address, Dr. Robert Kroger, Founder and Executive Director of Blood Origins, stressed that hunters have a great story but are not doing a good job at telling it. Stating that hunters should be talking to non-hunters, it was suggested the aim should be to alter the views of at least 35% of non-hunters.

When pondering what message to convey, a shared humanity and conveying the truth about hunting from the heart was put forward to delegates. As a challenge, he underscored the difficulty of convincing non-hunters that killing is ok and the need to change perceptions.

He explored the pitfalls of social media and provided examples of the role of hunters in protecting the environment, such as that of duck hunters in the Australian state of Victoria in preserving wetlands, placing nest boxes to support duck populations, or the role of hunters in protecting sea turtles by reducing egg predation. Further examples were given relating to hunter-generated funds in improving the conditions of local communities, or through investments in education. To conclude, Dr. Kroger described hunters as wildlife and human caregivers and called on them to communicate in a purposeful, honest and authentic manner.