ZimParks plans stan­dard­ised hunt­ing quota

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Business - Leonard Ncube Vic­to­ria Falls Re­porter

THE Zim­babwe Parks and Wildlife Man­age­ment Au­thor­ity (ZPWMA) is con­sult­ing stake­hold­ers on their views as it seeks to come up with a stan­dard­ised hunt­ing quota sys­tem for 2017 to curb poach­ing.

This comes amid con­cerns about the al­leged clan­des­tine is­suance of sport hunt­ing quo­tas in the coun­try which has re­sulted in il­le­gal hunt­ing of wild an­i­mals and loss of po­ten­tial rev­enue. A sport hunt­ing quota is a sci­en­tif­i­cally de­ter­mined num­ber of an­i­mals that can be har­vested from a pop­u­la­tion with­out com­pro­mis­ing the bi­o­log­i­cal pro­lif­er­a­tion of that pop­u­la­tion and is in­vari­ably the panacea of sus­tain­ing wildlife pop­u­la­tions through util­i­sa­tion.

It targets mostly those an­i­mals which are no longer con­tribut­ing to the pro­lif­er­a­tion of that par­tic­u­lar species.

In a state­ment, ZPWMA spokesper­son Ms Caro­line Washaya-Moyo said the con­sul­ta­tion process is un­der­way.

“Part­ners in Chin­hoyi, Bin­dura, Kwekwe and Kadoma have given their views and the au­thor­ity’s team is cur­rently in Bu­l­awayo and Mato­pos Na­tional Park where it’s con­tin­u­ing with the con­sul­ta­tion process. It will move to Hwange and Chiredzi then fi­nally Mwenezi in the next few days,” said Ms Washaya-Moyo.

She said Zim­babwe sub­scribes to the prin­ci­ple of sus­tain­able util­i­sa­tion of its wildlife re­sources with­out caus­ing ad­verse ef­fects to the nat­u­ral re­source base.

“The quota set­ting work­shops are held an­nu­ally in all the four ZPWMA administrative re­gions namely West­ern, Cen­tral, South­ern and North­ern re­gion. Stake­hold­ers in­clude ZPWMA ecol­o­gists, wildlife pro­duc­ers or land own­ers, re­searchers, field man­agers and sa­fari op­er­a­tors,’ she said.

Be­sides mak­ing pro­pos­als for the 2017 hunt­ing sea­son, ZPWMA also seeks to tackle man­age­ment of wildlife ar­eas, wa­ter pro­vi­sion, anti-poach­ing, mon­i­tor­ing of game, game fence and translo­ca­tions.

Ms Washaya-Moyo be­moaned the pres­ence of trade bans set by the Con­ven­tion on In­ter­na­tional Trade in En­dan­gered Species (Cites) of wild fauna and flora say­ing they were ad­versely af­fect­ing rev­enue.

“Sport hunt­ing should be pro­moted be­cause it con­trib­utes sig­nif­i­cantly to species con­ser­va­tion and the na­tional econ­omy while the com­mu­nity benefits through Camp­fire projects. Trade re­stric­tions will neg­a­tively im­pact on rev­enue, where hunt­ing con­trib­utes ap­prox­i­mately 60 per­cent of Ru­ral Dis­trict Coun­cils’ earn­ings and an an­nual na­tional $28 mil­lion,” she added.

An ap­proved quota is not a hunt­ing per­mit but the an­i­mals listed on it are ap­pended onto the hunt­ing per­mit, a le­gal doc­u­ment for hunt­ing. The au­thor­ity is­sues hunt­ing per­mits to op­er­a­tors and these should be re­newed every De­cem­ber pre­ced­ing the hunt­ing sea­son.

An­i­mals in­cluded in the quo­tas and re­stricted by Cites are lions, ele­phants, chee­tahs, leop­ards and croc­o­diles. Farm­ers from Mata­bele­land North last week ap­pealed to the Gov­ern­ment to re­view the quota process say­ing they were not al­lowed to hunt wild an­i­mals such as lions and ele­phants whose pop­u­la­tion has bal­looned and now caus­ing havoc in hu­man set­tle­ments. Zim­babwe has an ele­phant pop­u­la­tion of about 83 000 but less than 500 ele­phants are har­vested each year through tro­phy hunt­ing.—@ ncubeleon.

The Rain­bow Beit­bridge Ex­press which has since been closed

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