Life Science Hour Seminar Series

Name:Susan Todd
Title:Can privatizing wildlife benefit conservation and poverty alleviation on tribal lands in Namibia?
Date:Friday, 9 February 2018
Location:Murie Life Science Bldg, Murie Auditorium.


Throughout most of the 20th century, villagers in Namibia had no way to legally benefit from the wildlife that ravaged theirs crops and livestock. As a result, they viewed wildlife as a menace. But following Namibia's independence from South Africa in 1990, it created “community conservancies” that have ownership over a quota of “huntable” wildlife on their communal lands. Conservancies can sell the wildlife to trophy hunters, guide tourists to see them, or harvest some wildlife for their own use. No fences are allowed on conservancies so that wildlife can roam free. Today there are 82 conservancies that together manage 20% of Namibia’s land area. Together the conservancies host thousands of tourists and trophy hunters and provide training, jobs, income and social services to villagers in remote areas. Trophy hunting is their primary source of income, although lodges are increasing in importance. Some conservancies make very little money, others do very well. Since the mid-1990s, populations of black rhinoceros, elephants, lions, and many other species have increased. Raising livestock is an ancient practice in Namibia and it will continue to be, but conservancies like to say “wildlife are our cattle now.”

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