In 2020, SCI Foundation commissioned Blood Origins to produce a series of interviews with government officials from the wildlife authorities of various African nations, providing a first-of-its-kind forum to speak out on a proposed trophy ban in the United Kingdom.
The UK is considering a ban on trophy imports from Africa. Fulton Mangwanya, Director General of ZimParks in Zimbabwe has some thoughts.
Tebogo Boalotswe with the Conservation Coalition of Botswana speaking truths about DEFRA's proposed ban of trophy imports.
"If you kill the industry then you multiply the problems in regard local benefits and conservation benefits." Dr. James Wakibara, Director General of the Tanzania Wildlife Management Authority responds to the UK proposal to ban trophy imports.
George Pangeti, Africa Coordinator for SCI Foundation and whom calls Zimbabwe home responds to the proposed trophy ban in the UK. "Instead of listening to the foreign press of non-hunting NGO’s, they are welcome to visit our region…to see how hunting is making people survive. If it is banned and there is no income from hunting, it is not helping wildlife. In fact, it is going to kill wildlife."
"We believe very strongly any move to ban hunting resources would be counterproductive....because those resources play an important part in the development of our people." Dr. Cyril Taolo is the Acting Director of the Department of Wildlife and National Parks in Botswana and he is speaking out against the proposed ban of trophy imports in the UK. He stresses the necessity of the UK's DEFRA and other countries considering similar moves, to engage those African regions and understand the role hunting plays.
Geoffreys Matipano, Deputy Director General, Conservation for ZimParks in Zimbabwe responds to the proposed UK ban of trophy imports. "Outside of Africa, the Western world, they know better how to conserve species like caribou, like hogs, but when it comes to African elephant, African buffalo, it's us, we've been dealing with these species our whole life."
Elfinesh Woldeyes Zelellew, Director, Wildlife Developent and Utilization Directorate for the Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Authority explains very simply, hunting is necessary for conservation. "If there is no hunting, illegal activity becomes a serious issue. We could lose wildlife resources for good."
Frans Kamenye, Manager of the Game Products Trust Fund in Namibia responds to the UK's proposed trophy import ban, "If you look at the countries that are imposing restrictions, they don’t have anymore elephants. We have a tested way of living and conserving the Big 5. Their numbers have been increasing every year. The countries in the western part of Africa, their animals are all decimated because of restrictions."
Imani Nkuwi, Director, Tourism and Business Services for the Tanzania Wildlife Management Authority responds to the UK proposal to ban trophy imports by explaining the importance of hunting, "We have managed to control poaching and wildlife is roaming around and there is plenty of them. You sit in London and try to ban hunting, I’m sorry we do not have a shared vision for the future of wildlife in this world."
James Lutalo, Director, CITES National Focal Point for the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities in Uganda explains that when wildlife is valued as revenue-driving resource, it is protected. "Those of us on the ground have a different view. Where no organized hunting has been allowed, the species are depleted. If communities look at sustainable hunting practices as a form of revenue, you will not help us to protect wildlife if you stop sport hunting."
Johnson Ndokosho, Deputy Director, Ministry of Environment and Tourism for Nambia in response to the UK's proposed ban on trophy imports, "We see ourselves as a responsible government. We have no plans to destroy our wildlife. The most important thing to do is ensure the communities that live with wildlife have the best interests of this wildlife."
HRH Benjamin Dipati Maenetja of the Balepye Royal Family of South Africa responds to the UK's proposed ban on trophy hunting, "If you ban hunting, most of the clients that come from the UK will not be able to come and hunt in our area, which will definitely translate to the revenue we use for conservation purposes."
In response to the proposed ban of trophy imports in the UK, Phemelo Gadimang, Carnivore Biologist for the Department of Wildlife and National Parks in Botswana explains why DEFRA should consult with those countries.
The Savé Valley Conservancy is an approximately 3,500 km2 wildlife conservation area in southern Zimbabwe. It supports significant populations of black and white rhinos, as well as elephants, lions, and African wild dogs. Safari Club International Foundation and the Hunter Legacy Fund support the 37 rangers and four antipoaching dogs of the Specialized Species Protection Unit. Because of their efforts, 2018 saw the highest recorded annual reproductive output for rhinos on SVC—5 white rhino and 21 black rhino calves—continuing a five-year trend of population growth for both species.