02 Jun 2021 Open letter on “How trophy-hunting helps protect Africa’s wildlife”
On behalf of the European Federation for Hunting and Conservation (FACE), the International Council for Game and Wildlife Conservation (CIC), Safari Club International (SCI), Conservation Force (CF) and Dallas Safari Club (DSC), we would like to thank The Economist and show our greatest appreciation towards your article published on 29 May on “How trophy-hunting helps protect Africa’s wildlife”.
Modern international hunting in Africa is genuinely misunderstood. Moreover, the misinformation in the media can be detrimental to the conservation of wildlife – particularly to the species of concern – and the rights and welfare of rural people living side-by-side with wildlife. Your article critically addresses some of the complexities of hunting, and you objectively present the facts.
Hunting in Africa is important: Be it for securing the largest share of wild habitat, for successful wildlife conservation – including the largest populations of popular species as well as endangered species, supporting rural communities with food security through high-quality meat, sustaining local economies, or for preventing poaching through providing the largest share of poaching control and funding the essential operating budget revenue of wildlife authorities. Sustainable international hunting ensures that healthy populations of wildlife remain for future generations, while securing the rights, health and welfare of millions of rural people.
We therefore cannot stress enough how vital it is to include the rights and perspectives of the rural communities living with wildlife, as well as those of relevant scientists, in working towards good decision-making.
For some, trophies are part of the lasting memories of a wildlife experience. This can be represented by the antlers of a roe deer or the pin feather of a Eurasian woodcock. However, it is important to understand that it is rarely the sole goal of a hunter to simply hunt for a trophy. But instead, experiencing and connecting with nature, following our most essential experience of getting food, connecting with people passionate about nature and wildlife, and for many carrying on cultures and traditions from generation-to-generation.
President, European Federation for Hunting and Conservation (FACE)
President, the International Council for Game and Wildlife Conservation (CIC)
W. Laird Hamberlin
CEO, Safari Club International (SCI)
John J. Jackson III
President, Conservation Force (CF)
Executive Director, Dallas Safari Club (DSC)