By ZBC Reporter
AFRICAN countries have been urged to harness abundant wildlife resources worth billions of dollars and unite in condemning the unjustified restrictions on elephants and wildlife products trade.
As the continent of Africa observes the Africa Month, the resource-rich continent has been reminded of the potential of the wildlife economy in transforming regional economies and improving the livelihoods of the continent’s 1.3 billion citizens. At a time Africa’s proven conservation efforts are being punished rather than being rewarded, observers say Africa should be brave and speak with one voice in condemning the restrictions on wildlife trade.
Safari Club International Foundation Africa Coordinator, George Pangeti has castigated the ongoing anti-sustainable use campaign by Western lobby groups saying Africa should be allowed to benefit from its abundant wildlife resources.
“We believe that Africa should benefit from its resources through the use of its natural resources instead of following anti-use policies that are imported from outside Africa. The African continent should have solutions that are in-bread within Africa,” said Pangeti.
Zimbabwean-born and South Africa’s largest private rhino breeder, John Hume believes legal trade in rhino horns has the potential to transform regional economies and reduce poaching.
“I am afraid l do not agree with anti-sustainable use feeling that we must ban all trade in rhino horns and African natural products. If we use African natural products in a sustainable way it can ensure a vast income for Africa,” he said.
It is not all hope lost for the African continent in as far as the wildlife economy as the current crop of leaders in Southern Africa has vowed to ensure that people co-existing with wildlife benefit from the resources. There is a general consensus among the leaders that Africa cannot continue to be denied the right to trade in wildlife products.
By ZBC Reporter