productive to the conservation needs of Zambia, and today‚Äôs decision should be heralded as a win for sustainable-use conservation.‚Ä®‚Ä®‚ÄúSCI and SCI Foundation commend Minister Kapata on his decision,‚Äù said SCI Foundation President Joe Hosmer. ‚ÄúLike most range states, Zambia relies on hunting revenue for most of their conservation funding. Maintaining sustainable hunting is crucial to wildlife survival.‚Äù
When the ban was initiated in January 2013, SCI and SCI Foundation immediately met with the Zambian government officials educating them on the commitment of the hunting community to sustainable use conservation. These meetings set the course for today‚Äôs policy reversal.
The lifting of the ban is in response to Zambia‚Äôs attempt to diversify its economy. Copper currently monopolizes two-thirds of its foreign exchange earnings and the government hopes that reintroducing regulated hunting across the country will stimulate its economy and encourage conservation of its wildlife.
‚ÄúRegulated, sustainable hunting gives additional value to wildlife and ensures that governments dedicate the necessary resources toward wildlife management,‚Äù SCI President Craig Kauffman said. ‚ÄúZambia is a country with diverse and plentiful wildlife populations. Lifting the ban will produce multiple opportunities for Zambia to capitalize on this resource and provide sustainable, healthy populations for years to come. ‚Äú
Zambia has stated that the ban on cat hunting will remain in effect until a survey on lion population numbers is complete. Currently SCI Foundation is funding a Zambia Lion Project (ZLP) to assist in gathering this information. The ZLP is conducting genetic and demographic research to assess the current status of lions, and to develop and promote practices that ensure the long- term sustainability and health of Zambia's lion populations. These best practices for wildlife management will be discussed at this year‚Äôs African Wildlife Consultative Forum (AWCF) as they are crucial in ensuring the continuation of sustainable hunting.