via Zim courts US over sport hunting ban – NewsDay Zimbabwe. 21 June 2014
ENVIRONMENT, Water and Climate Change minister Saviour Kasukuwere yesterday revealed that Zimbabwe is in delicate discussions with the United States government over a trophy and sport haunting ban imposed last year.
Kasukuwere said the country would sent a Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZimParks) delegation to Capitol Hill in Washington to meet a congressional panel over the matter next month.
“The negotiations are being done with the United States Congress. ZimParks director-general [Edson Chidziya] will lead a team to Washington to meet a congressional panel next month about the ban on trophy and sport hunting,” he said. The visit will come as Zimbabwe tries to increase its tourism revenue receipts from US hunters who are the majority of visitors during the hunting season.”
The minister made the remarks on the sidelines of announcing a new ZimParks board.
The new eight-member board will be chaired by Alvin Ncube, a former general manager at the Forestry Commission.
Other board members are Gilbert Pwitia, a scientist, lawyer, Nellie Janyika, Wilson Mutinhima, a former deputy director at Campfire.
The other members are Tichaona Mundangepfupfu, a former permanent secretary in the Environment ministry, Retired Air Vice-Marshal Henry Muchena, the Zanu PF director of the commissariat, ZimParks director-general Chidziya and a yet-to-be named director in the ministry.
Kasukuwere said he expected the board, among other things, to see to the transition of the ownership of the Save Valley Conservancy which was recently turned into a national park by the government.
“You have come at a time when the Save Valley Conservancy is now under Parks and Wildlife Management Puthority and as such, my expectation is to see smooth integration of this area into mainstream Parks Estates,” he said.Kasukuwere said the board should lobby the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) to allow the country to resume trading in its huge stockpile of ivory.
“Zimbabwe has around 70 tonnes of ivory and five tonnes of rhino horn which we cannot trade because of our international obligations to CITES. This is one area where I expect the board to lobby the world so that we could get some revenue from these stocks and be able to support our conservation efforts,” he said.
National parks cover at least 14% of the country’s land area. They have acted as the main attraction to tourists who usually visit to watch or hunt the big five — elephant, rhino, buffalo, lion and leopard — which are common in the country’s parks.