By Tiri Masawi
WINDHOEK - Namibia will partner other Southern African countries to mount an aggressive campaign against the push by international community to curb trophy hunting in that country as it threatens the livelihoods of its people, government said last week.
Namibian Minister of Information and Communication Technology, Stanley Simataa, said the Namibian cabinet views the push to curb trophy hunting in Namibia and SADC as ill-informed from the international community as well presenting detrimental effects to the country's ability to provide for its citizens.
"Some of the countries pushing for a ban on trophy hunting have decimated their own animals and have no clue about the importance of how impactful this trade has on Namibian economy," he said.
He argued that local folk stand to benefit immensely from the practice while the Namibian constitution gives the control of flora and fauna to Namibia as long the practice is done legally.
Namibia announced through a cabinet resolution that it was calling on pressure groups internationally to reconsider their push to curb trophy hunting in the country.
Pressure groups want to have trophy hunting not only in Namibia, but other countries like Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe, banned as a tool to safeguard wildlife while the African countries feel they have a right to do what they want with their animals.
Namibian vehemently defended their right to continue practicing sustainable trophy hunting for the benefit of the economy.
"The Namibian constitution recognises the right of Namibians to exploit their natural resources to the benefit of its citizens without undue pressure," government said.
The Namibian government also said it will work together with other Southern African countries to lobby for their rights to exploit their animals.
"Namibia has a constitutional provision that allows it to manage and administer its wildlife to the betterment of the country," the government added.
The Namibian government said that there was a lack of understanding from the pressure groups that want to cut trophy hunting in Namibia.
The Namibian government also reiterated that Namibia has a right to exploit its natural resources without being pushed to the edges by international community.
The Namibian government said it has so far made N$600 million from both commercial and communal trophy hunting.
"Trophy hunting significantly contribute serious revenue for the country and sustains more than 15000 jobs in the country. Imagine if these benefits are taken out," he said.