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Should East African countries adopt the Namibian and South African conservation models?

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  1. 1. Should East African countries adopt the Namibian and South African conservation models?

    • Yes.
      8
    • No.
      9
    • Unsure at present.
      3

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25 posts in this topic

Please take a moment to cast your vote in the poll and explain your choice in the comments below.

 

Matt

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Yes ,I firmly believe that all nations in East Africa,should follow the Nam./RSA stellar examples of sound,viable wildlife conservation thru sustainable utilization via legal hunting. Besides helping conserve wildlife/ecosytems in those respected nations, poor communities often benefit as well,from free high protein source ( game ),and revenue from legal fees paid for hunting licenses/permits in reserves/game paarks which they live in/near .

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No ...... I don't think it will work because of corruption. Look at recent reports coming from Tanzania?

 

In Kenya look at the new conservancies outside the Mara and their conservation efforts ......

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No … about time we realised that Africa consists of different countries with different cultures and histories and that a model that works in one country is not necessarily going to be suitable for another. I look to the Northern Rangelands Trust, a model which has developed out of a country which has specific historical conservation, ranching and tribal considerations. It is working and expanding very well.

 

What we don't need across the various African countries in a mindset which says that there is only one model of conservation which works. If this were to happen, then the new and innovative suggestions would be crushed before they saw the light of day.

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Posted (edited)

Not at all - East Africa is a very different set of countries - demographics, politics, geographically. Just the number of different tribes is in a different level altogether.

 

And if we do discuss a sustainable utilisation model, the only ( and the only seriously since 1880s) sustainable model that East Africa has seen (especially Kenya) was when the tribes boundaries were defined by the existence of other tribes, they never took more than absolutely necessary. And then it was all downhill as:

 

1.) the Britishers went on a hunting rampage. Just Roosevelt alone killed 2000 animals in one safari and together his whole party ( with their 600 porters!) killed over 11000. We are talking if numbers in tens if thousands and hundreds of thousands. Just from 1944-1946 the game department killed 996 rhinos in Makueni area.

 

2.) the predators termed 'vermin' were massacred on a large scale

 

3.) land was sized from the original tribes and a lot of the lush hills and Rift Valley used for farming while the locals lost rights to almost everything

 

4.) against the backdrop of this bloody 60-65 years the pre independence east Africa ( again specifically Kenya) model of conservation was born based on excluding the locals from any consumptive rights on the animals ( both by pricing the hunts out of their league and making their "methods" of hunting cruel and hence illegal)

 

5.) the creation of national parks was at further cost to the locals as land on which they had resettled was further siezed ( since no one was giving up their tea estates and lavish ranches)

 

6.) the acrimony between the tribes was taken to a different level ( even today used lavishly by politicians in Kenya)

 

So what was once a sustainable utilisation of hunting already being practiced by locals in the 1800s ( without any books being written on it or it being debated thousands of miles away in Europe) has been completely changed demographically. What happened in those 70 years was that it became impossible for the locals to coexist with wildlife without breaking a "Law" and now for the last 30 odd years the population has exploded ( the population growth rate in Kenya is 2.41% vs -.41% in SA- a very very big difference of 3%. Namibia is at 0.82% again a 3rd of Kenya's growth rate on a base that's % of Kenya. And almost 40% of this population in Kenya is under 15 years. So does not earn. Historically, just before the Britishers decided to "protect and conserve" wildlife in Kenya, in 1950, the population was 6 million. In 1977, when the hunting ban took place, it was 14.7 million. Today is 42 Million approximately.

 

To add, Namibia has the 2nd smallest population density at 2.2 people per sq km. South Africa is at 36 and Kenya is in the bottom 4th of the list of African countries at 53. The population of Namibua is less than 2-3 mio people. Kenya is 40-42 Mio people. The level of urbanisation and education in SA is completely different.

 

So for this topic, instead of talking about hunting coming back into Kenya, I would really like to discuss how Laikipia has bounced back. How Lewa is doing so well. How NRT is doing a great job of returning back habitat.

 

So the question is can we talk about sustainable utilisation of wildlife in Kenya by providing 100% of legal and economic rights in the hands of the tribes as it existed in 1895 or are we talking about the handful of twentieth century settlers having majority if the legal and economic rights with say 10% of profits ( note profits and not revenue) going to the "local community"? I latter, then what makes us think that introducing hunting this way will dial back history, dial back the inter tribal dynamics of over 100 years which have been manipulated theough the century? That tribes with a century of fed acrimony and hatred, will not "raid" each other in wildlife ranches the way they do with cattle? Or that hunting will step up and counter this demographical uniqueness of East Africa? ( incidentally very similar to India and for anyone who has no idea of the challenges in India to claim tigers are getting extinct because of the ban in hunting, is just as questionable a deduction as saying 80% of Kenya's wildlife is lost because of a ban in hunting. Or that the population exploded because of a ban in hunting. Not at all.

Edited by Anita
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I should probably add that maybe in a very localised way, one can argue that sustainable consumption will work in this particular conservancy or ranch ( I doubt but maybe in the far north like Marsabit or Melako?) but Kenya is so well entrenched in the tourist map that a different solution to consumptive can definitely occur. Look at how the conservancies around Mara have turned out? If we had thought hunting was the only way to go, we would have never tested the level of success of these conservancies. Anyone who wants to debate this point only from a conservation point of view and not personal agenda, will look at these conservancies, the 45 odd ethnic communities, the corruption and population challenges and start from there.

 

On the other hand, it might not be a bad idea to discuss how hunting in Tanzania needs to move from state/WD hands to the local communities.

 

I have still not seen how say a total revenues in one hunting season through one PH or concession, is split in terms of to local communities vs offshore accounts. In Selous for example I have heard the local community around, got a huge sum of USD 500 in 2010. Why aren't the conservation minded PH and hunting clients doing more on their own for these communities around Selous? What is the extent of ele poaching there? With such corrupt governments, are we not just talking about another layer of squeezing out the locals?

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I voted yes. Even though I understand that many east Africa have differing land ownership models, and cultural influence on those models. I believe that the government should have less to do with what goes on in certain zones. Governments responsibility should be focused on protecting the reserves.

 

We have said for a long time that conservation depends on political will, but in some instances, we will wait a long time for that to happen. I believe that the people with rights to the land should be able to see the benefits of conservation without it filtering through politicians hands. I support a form of self regulation, as the people who control the benefits wouldn't see any point in cheating themselves.

 

You could ask why its so successful in South Africa, and it because the people who have the influence on the success are the investors and owners themselves. There is something many people don't realize about the SA model, is that to a large extent the primary motivation to run and own or rehabilitate land is more passion and love for nature, than for financial benefit. Farming in SA is very much a way of life as opposed to a money making business, however the sums have to add up, and books have to balance. In a large number of cases, conventional farming could be far more profitable. I am not convinced that the same natural responsibility towards preserving nature is shared by the land curators in East Africa.

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Posted (edited)

Whilst I believe that in principle hunting could have some positive effect in certain specific areas of Kenya (and by the way bird shooting already takes place in some of NRT's conservancies), I think that suitable hunting areas would be very difficult to find nowadays, since they would mostly be lower game density areas in the far north which will support as mainly huntable species endangered, threathened or unique animals such as Grevy's zebra, Gerenuk, Beisa Oryx etc...(which should not be hunted).

 

Speaking of re-introducing trophy hunting in Kenya is a moot point, because it will never happen. I think that whilst not the single major cause of the much publicised 80% wildlife decline, the 1977 hunting ban was probably a mistake, but it is now too late. The exploding human population has "eaten up" most of the former hunting grounds, so better protect what it is left in a non consumptive (and hopefully intelligent) way.

 

Hunting could play a big conservation role in Tanzania, but the system needs a major overhaul. If a system like CAMPFIRE in the early days of Zimbabwe could be put in place it would be great, but I doubt it could happen with the current background.

 

Uganda has the same, even exacerbated problems of Kenya. Hunting in Karamoja could be viable though, and will benefit, if properly managed.

 

Ethiopia is over-hunted already (apart from being over-populated as well).

 

So I voted "unsure" . Even East Africa is too big a generalization.

Edited by Paolo
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bunting probably not, with kenyan corruption things would go crazy

 

game farming would be ok, bettwen to have the locally suited animala thamn sheep and goats.

 

some game farmers could also have bvisitors with general plains game, a good supply of zebras and giraffes, a good comfortable guest accom

 

well being a meat production facility, they would not have predators, this would creat an opportunity to build up numbers of grevy's zebras and reticulated giraffes

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Interesting that most people have latched on to hunting and not the local decision making/local community benefit side of things or private ownership angle.

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While I understand the point of the question and the basic premise, I feel answer a mere "yes" or "no" would be a gross oversimplification of the issues at hand.

 

There are many things that Eastern African countries can take from their Southern African counterparts' models to improve their own models. Vice versa is true as well I believe.

 

A flat conversion from one model to the next is, however, not in anyone's interests. What works in SA will not necessarily work in Kenya. Different cultures, different economic models, different value systems, different wildlife related issues.

 

So I voted "no". But that doesn't mean I think East African countries should keep their current models and not look to the south for examples of success. I grow firmer in my belief that consumptive utilization and some sense of ownership can really only be a good thing. Obviously, it cannot be done exactly the same as it's been done in SA and namibia. It must be "Kenyanised" or "Tanzanised".
I do not believe that trophy hunting would be a positive thing for Kenya. Wildlife ranching, however, would be. And yet what would become of the pastoralist tribes? How would they be given "ownership" of the wildlife? How would currently unfenced rangelands remain so? Perhaps the current conservancy model is the best way to handle those areas?

 

I think it would be interesting to get @ into this discussion.

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Here's a recent article in www.usatoday.com from which I take a few quotes...

 

Take the black rhinoceros. In 1980, it was almost extinct. Today, Namibia boasts the largest black rhino population in the world — and even exports the species to other countries' national parks.

"It's Africa's greatest animal recovery story," says Keith Sproule, adviser to the World Wildlife Fund in Namibia.

The model has set a world standard, attracting about 20 countries to study its success, including Mongolia, Nepal, Cambodia, Tanzania and the USA. "Namibia is one of the few countries in the world where the whole country is involved in conservation," says Jim Sano, vice president of travel, tourism and conservation for the WWF.

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@'s interview for Safaritalk is worth reading and taking his points into consideration, also the contributions he made to this topic.

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Matt to start off with - how would you compare the Namibian model to the SA model? Are they more different than similar? And how? Kenya and Tanzania are clearly very different to each other and as are other east african countries.

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I also wondered why respondents latched onto hunting as hunting didn't cross my mind. I was thinking more of the local tribes involving themselves and their land in conservation. I agree with AB that there are forms of wildlife utilisation which would be worth investigating. I don't think that it is as simple as some would like it to be.

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Good - now we can start investigating, using the initial question as a spring board. Of course, using exactly the same model wouldn't work, (and I was limited by the word count in the title and I didn't want to impose my own thoughts upon the direction the discussion would take...), but by incorporating factors that have proved to work from Namibian and SA models into something applicable to East African countries, surely would place a greater value on the wildlife, decentralise decision making and revenue streams and see those communities which have historically been disenfranchised from their lands and wildlife policies reintegrated?

 

I think the point AB makes about,

 

It must be "Kenyanised" or "Tanzanised".

 

Is spot on.

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Posted (edited)

I agree with @@armchair bushman but voted differently. Both Kenya and Tanzania are worlds apart in their conservation models. Kenya will argue that they don't want to go the way of Tanzania, and Tanzania will argue that they don't want what happened to Kenya to happen to them. The common problem is that there are many fingers in the cookie jar, or that the wrong people have their hands in the cookie jar. One could probably argue that Kenya don't trust themselves enough to keep out the cookie jar, and that they are already too donor dependent.

 

I deliberately avoided mentioning hunting, and touched on empowering land owners or "curators". Sustainable utilization isn't just about hunting, its about becoming less donor dependent and allowing ownership to see (or feel) the balance sheet, and it offers a larger tool box which gives more options.

Edited by dikdik
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To me, hunting vs. non-hunting is a secondary issue. What makes "the Namibian model" work is the devolved decision-making and ownership or resources. In a nutshell, the Namibians own, therefore they caretake. Tanzanians, for instance, do not own, and therefore, they pillage competitively. Yes, I know… there are myriad other factors, but I believe ownership and self-governance are key.

 

Now, back to the question of should other countries adopt the Namibian model. I say hell yes (and you can do this without hunting). But how would it happen? Why would, for instance, the Tanzanian government voluntarily release its grip on the revenues from hunting? They are not… it would be like asking the Nigerian government to give up tis oil stakes. NOT GONNA HAPPEN voluntarily.

 

Now, Zambia is an interesting situation… ZAWA is so flat out broke that it needs to be restructured entirely. Zambia presents an interesting opportunity to devolve ownership and responsibilities to the local communities.

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And that is to agree with people who have said that simply adopting hunting will not make things better in Kenya, for instance… for the reasons stated… corruption for one… but also the lack of ownership of resources.

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I replied 'no'.

Both South Africa and Namibia have a good track record when it comes to wildlife conservation. Both countries have 2 basic models, - Governmental and private sector. Both sectors in both countries have a lot to offer and the incorporation/adaption of some aspects of these models is possible, and it could be argued, desirable. However, "one size does not fit all".

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Only 14 votes?

 

Including mine.

 

Do we not like surveys?

 

Or did (like me) we not notice them?

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I voted NO.

Mostly because I think that the circumstances in each country are different.

 

In Kenya there are some very good examples of conservation that work well - Ol Pejeta is just one example - but overall, the effort is impeded by lack of commitment from, or corruption within, the government. In Tanzania I believe it is even worse.

 

Before anything can succeed in either country it is necessary to get government ministers to buy into the goal of preserving wildlife rather than feathering their own nests.

 

Hey @Anita it is quite a while since anybody called us 'Britishers' and I don't think Roosevelt was ever a 'Britisher' but it has a nice ring to it, maybe we can re-introduce it. :P

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I have resigned myself to the fact that in 50 years, the only places in Africa that will be worth going to [for wildlife] will be Botswana, Namibia and South Africa. All the rest will be gone.

 

So states Craig Packer in a recent newspaper article which we discuss on Safaritalk here.

 

Why is that? Unchecked population increase? Pressure on wilderness spaces for agricultural needs, firewood and charcoal harvesting etc?

 

It may be that Botswana's relatively low human population density, high cost low impact tourism model and strong willed Government's stand on poaching will play a part, but what about Namibia and South Africa? Does it come down to sustainable use, private ownership, sport hunting etc? Will those of us still around in 50 years look back to this topic and Craig's piece and lament the fact that elsewhere in Africa wildlife numbers have dwindled due to the fact that they didn't base their wildlife policies on the Namibian and South Africa model?

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Posted (edited)

Probably, they could buy some time. But over the long term, wildlife in those countries is doomed.

 

Increasing agricultural needs, firewood, charcoal, bush meat are all related to the increasing African population.

 

Where there are humans, there is no/little wildlife. It is a fact. Do we see much wildlife in the UK or in France? In France, there are only a few bears left and it s already too much. In the UK, we have a few deers. In Africa, humans and wildlife are often competing for the same resources (think about the Mara or look at how dry the Ruaha river is). Anyway thinking about the elephants population for instance, we have to remember that in less than in a century, its population has decreased by 97%, from 10Million to 300,000. Sorry to be so downbeat, the Africa we all love has been disappearing for a long time

 

If Africans continue to breed like rabbits, there will be absolutely nothing left in Kenya and Tanzania. I really do not understand why nothing is done to stop that ridiculous population growth.

Edited by Dam2810

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I have resigned myself to the fact that in 50 years, the only places in Africa that will be worth going to [for wildlife] will be Botswana, Namibia and South Africa. All the rest will be gone.

 

So states Craig Packer in a recent newspaper article which we discuss on Safaritalk here.

 

Why is that? Unchecked population increase? Pressure on wilderness spaces for agricultural needs, firewood and charcoal harvesting etc?

 

It may be that Botswana's relatively low human population density, high cost low impact tourism model and strong willed Government's stand on poaching will play a part, but what about Namibia and South Africa? Does it come down to sustainable use, private ownership, sport hunting etc? Will those of us still around in 50 years look back to this topic and Craig's piece and lament the fact that elsewhere in Africa wildlife numbers have dwindled due to the fact that they didn't base their wildlife policies on the Namibian and South Africa model?

 

~ @@Game Warden

 

As I won't live to see half a century hence, I'll never know the outcome.

The visit to South Africa earlier this month was eye-opening.

Not at all what I expected. The privately managed Sabi Sands area was well worth visiting.

Agricultural needs — herding and charcoal harvesting — are understandable, but reduce the attractiveness of wildlife areas.

I'm sorry to read such a dire assessment. I wish that the trends weren't going that way, if indeed they are.

Thank you for posing this question.

Tom K.

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