Zimbabwe to look East for trophy hunting export markets

Source: Zimbabwe to look East for trophy hunting export markets | Reuters

LIVINGSTONE, Zambia, (Reuters) – Zimbabwean wildlife authorities are eyeing trophy hunting export markets in the East as some European countries move to ban trophy imports, an official said on Tuesday.
The European Parliament called in 2022 for a ban on the import of trophies derived from species listed by CITES, an international agreement that aims to ensure that trade in wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival.
Belgium in February banned the import of hunting trophies, while British lawmakers in 2023 approved a ban on trophy hunting imports covering 6,000 endangered species.
“We can always come up with an alternative market,” Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife (Zimparks) director general Fulton Mangwanya told Reuters on the sidelines of the Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA) summit in Livingstone, Zambia.
“We have to look for other markets from the East,” he added, without mentioning specific countries.
Mangwanya said discussions to support trophy hunting were ongoing among five Southern African countries which make up the Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier – the world’s second-largest conservation area.
Officials from Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe are meeting in Livingstone to discuss sustainable wildlife conservation and the growing human-wildlife conflict in the conservation area as both the wildlife and human populations grow.
In Zimbabwe, 50 people were killed in elephant attacks in 2023, according to Zimparks.
“We should be allowed to be hunting more so that we do the management of reducing these animals which are killing our people,” Mangwanya said.
“We have done well to look after our animals… Rather, we should be assisted so that we deal with these problems,” Mangwanya said, referring to being allowed to trade ivory and enable trophy hunting.
Director of natural resources in the SADC Secretariat, Domingos Gove, told the summit the regional body supported trophy hunting.
“Hunting is a source of funding. If you close the market, how (are) we be able to cater for the basic needs of these communities?,” Gove said.
Zimparks has said it has $600 million worth of ivory stockpile which the country cannot sell due to CITES regulations which ban ivory trade.