Concern for animals relocated ahead of UN tourism meeting

via Concern for animals relocated ahead of UN tourism meeting | SW Radio Africa  By Alex Bell

Concern is high about the wellbeing of hundreds of animals that have been removed from the Save Valley Conservancy and relocated within the Zambezi National Park, ahead of a UN tourism meeting in Victoria Falls.

The UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) General Assembly opens this weekend, and over 1,000 delegates from around the world are expected to descend on Victoria Falls for the meeting. This includes diplomats, dignitaries and leading tourism industry officials from 186 different countries.

The preparations for the high level meeting have included the translocation of hundreds of animals to boost the presence of game for the influx of international tourists.

National Parks was mandated to transport 151 wildebeests, 25 elands, 60 zebras, 100 impalas and 10 giraffes from Save to the Zambezi park. Outgoing Wildlife and Natural Resources Minister Francis Nhema last week said that the presence of game in the Zambezi Park had dwindled for many reasons, including poaching.

“The animal population had decreased, in short, due to poaching and other factors and we are now correcting our past mistakes,” Nhema said, while overseeing the first shipment of animals to the park last week.

Johnny Rodrigues, the chairman of the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force (ZCTF) said Wednesday that he is “appalled” by the decision to relocate the animals. Rodrigues said that the process is “sickening” and a “marketing gimmick.”

“To relocate these animals just before the UN meeting is a gimmick to try and show the world there is an abundance of game, and act like they are good curators of the country’s wildlife, all to get international acclaim,” Rodrigues said.

Rodrigues earlier this year called on the UN to move the meeting somewhere else, because Zimbabwe is not meeting the international regulations governing the trade in wildlife. A petition was started after the death of a baby elephant, which was shipped from Zimbabwe to a Chinese zoo in January.

“Zimbabwe is not keeping to the agreements and regulations that govern wildlife protection and conservation. So we agree that the meeting should be boycotted,” Rodrigues said.

The UN meeting is already a source of widespread criticism and condemnation, and in the past two weeks there have been calls for UNWTO member states to boycott the event. The UN has been accused of ‘legitimising’ the Robert Mugabe regime by allowing the meeting to go ahead.

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 4
  • comment-avatar
    jongwe power 7 years ago

    Who cares about the stupid animals? The tourists want to see lions and zebras, and that’s all that matters.

  • comment-avatar

    FOR GOD SAKE , WHY ARE YOU PLAYING AROUND WITH RELOCATION
    OF GAME, OR ARE YOU JUST REPLACING ( RE-STOCKING ) FOR POACHERS?
    PLEASE BE ADVISED BY PETER , HE KNOWS HIS SUBJECT.
    YOUR PLAN WILL MISS-FIRE, THE DELEGATES HAVE BEEN INFORMED,
    YOUR STUPID EFFORTS WILL CAUSE STRESS TO THE ANIMALS, AND
    YOUR GOVERNMENT HAS BEEN CAUGHT CHEATING YET AGAIN.

    AND AS FOR LIGHTS ON THE BRIDGE !!! IT’S RIDICULOUS. WHAT
    TOURISTS WANT TO SEE IS ” LUNAR RAINBOWS ” AND TO GET
    DRENCHED IN THE RAINFOREST bc ( Old Kariba Hand )

  • comment-avatar
    jongwe power 7 years ago

    Are you high? EVERYONE wants to see Victoria Falls….even if it’s from the Zambian side. It’s the principle that counts. Light up the bridge, eve if it costs us all a year’s worth of electricity bills! We want those (white) tourists to hopefully give us more US dollars so that we can make our country a First World paradise. What better way than to show them lions, giraffes, and a well-lighted bridge?

    Clearly you don’t want tourism because you are a British spy and a Selous Scout. You want Zimbabwe to be recolonised by the Imperialists, who are camped around our borders, waiting for the moment to pour in and destroy our glorious Revolution that Mbuya Nehanda predicted. Begone, sellout!