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Compiled Sanet van Zijl | Main photo ©Gerhard Thirion
The Namibian Professional Hunters Association (NAPHA) are offering a prize of N$20 000 to the best performing and most active game guard group in communal conservancies.
N$20 000 have been gathered by Hunters United Against Poaching (HUAP) and this prize will be handed over at NAPHA’s annual general meeting at the end of November this year, along with a floating trophy. The plan is to set this incentive yearly for the best performing and most active game guard group.
NAPHA has extended an invitation to all communal conservancies to become members of their organisation, as they aim to improve communication channels and strengthen mutual support in dealing with irregularities. This should be beneficial to all parties involved.
Members of the communal conservancies have undertaken to maintain ethical hunting practices and to attempt to prevent and control wildlife related crime in their areas. They will be taking ownership of the concept of conservation through hunting and aim to increase awareness on the sustainable use of wildlife.
The members have requested that the Ministry of Environment and Tourism send representatives to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites) and similar international forums. Regional associations need to be strengthened and a national forum needs to be established which will allow conservancies to share the same voice. The ministry is also requested to establish forums which will clarify the roles of traditional authorities, communal conservancy land councils and the management of conservancies.
The members admit that certain wildlife species have to be shared between conservancies and ways need to be found to share the benefits between these areas.
Tourism concessions need to place a focus on conservancies that are underprivileged in terms of resources. Members are elated over the initiative to implement rewards. It will serve as a challenge to work hard to provide yearly data whereby the performance of the conservancies will be measured.