During the third day of the 15th AWCF in Arusha, Tanzania the agenda shifted from wildlife to the human component. “One of the key benefits of sustainable-use hunting is the direct support of communities and livelihoods of local people” said SCI Foundation President Warren Sackman. The forum provides an excellent opportunity for representatives of each country with active safari destinations to discuss and improve economic models and ensure maximum benefits accrue to local people.
“Although it is a foreign concept to most urban people, in much of bush Africa many rural people live in constant fear of lions, crocodiles, and elephants and risks to human life are very real” said Dr. Al Maki SCI Foundation Conservation Chair. Each of the countries present at AWCF discussed innovative ways to reduce and manage these unfortunate but very common issues. Aside from the risk of fatal injury, crop damage and livestock losses can be devastating, especially in areas prone to drought and low rainfall. The economic toll is often staggering and can cost millions of dollars in a single year. Most of the communities that face human-wildlife conflicts of every type are also among the poorest in the world.
Benefits flowing to local communities are typically not considered by anti-hunting activists. However, as Africa’s human populations continue to grow, our ability to show the world these very real economic benefits will be a key component in our defense of sustainable use hunting.
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