Hunting of Leopard and Lion banned in Zambia
Last Updated on Monday, 21 January 2013 13:51
Hunting Banned in Zambia during 2013
During a stakeholders meeting held on 10 January at Radisson Blu Hotel, Lusaka, it was decided to ban hunting during this coming year. There will be a permanent ban on the hunting of leopard and lion.
Government has decided that it needs to take stock of its wildlife areas by proper counts of species before it can issue licences for hunting. Hunting on private wildlife farms can continue under certain conditions.
During the year a study of animal numbers will be conducted. Also a proper framework for the administration of hunting areas will be formalised. Once the wildlife numbers have been established, it is hoped that depleted areas will be restocked.
Government realises that this ban will mean a loss of income to the Community Resource Boards (CRBs) which rely on the income from hunting in their areas so has decided to ensure that payments are made to CRBs.
From the Statement after the meeting:
A baseline study and census shall be conducted on entire game area estate to establish current stock levels of the wildlife state by the Government;
To review policies and institutional framework of the structures responsible for wildlife management with a view to engendering transparency and accountability in the overall management and direction of this tourism subsector.
Zambia has 36 Game Management Areas (GMAs) of which 19 are still used for hunting (the others have been hunted to such an extent that there is little left). Some have suffered from encroachment and poaching. There are some, of course, with ethical hunters who have ensured the proper management of the wildlife and helped neighbouring communities, but this, it would seem, is the exception rather than the norm. The hope is that, drawing from best practice, all GMAs can become properly managed, of benefit to the communities, be accountable and be economically viable for government.
Earlier in the year the hunting licences were issued by the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) but were met with a swift response from Sylvia Masebo, the Minister of Tourism, who cancelled them and fired various members of ZAWA. There was a backlash in some of the press which stated that she had banned the hunting because her favoured hunters had not been handed licences. Now it would seem that the Minister’s intention was not to gain the licences for her friends but to get normality back into the sector.
The decision by Government has been met by people in the tourism industry with huge relief as it has been known for years that there was too large an off-take of wildlife in some of the GMAs and that of accountability there was little.