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ADVOCATING FOR CHANGE: Minister Philder Kereng

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SADC: A victim of its own success

Minister Kereng calls for stringent conservation measures

Minister of Environment, Natural Resources, Conservation and Tourism Philda Kereng has called on African wildlife government officials to come up with measures addressing common African challenges.

Speaking at the ongoing 19th African Wildlife Consultative Forum (AWCF) at Cresta Mowana Safari Resort in Kasane, Kereng said the region’s arguments for sustainable utilization of wildlife resources, are being countered on multiple fronts.

The Minister said it was imperative that they generate a better understanding of wildlife management and associated challenges, as well as to discuss measures to be taken in order to address wildlife challenges more efficiently and effectively.

“For our conservation efforts to bear fruits, we need to agree on, and implement international engagement frameworks,” Kereng said.

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“Our SADC member states in particular are inadvertently penalized for the excellent measures they have put in place so as to realize the increasing elephant populations across most of the SADC member states.

The SADC region has become a victim of its own success and this calls for concerted efforts in order for us to make headway,” the Minister said.

She urged the forum to agree on options to address common African challenges, including the growing calls for hunting bans from some sections of society, unfairness in some of the global trading mechanisms, and the leakages that exist within financial markets, including within the tourism sector.

Minister Kereng reiterated Botswana’s unwavering commitment to the AWCF, at a forum that included wildlife authorities from Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, European Commission and the United States of America.

Highlighting Botswana’s commitment to wildlife conservation Minister Kereng pointed to the Visions 2036 pillar which supports sustainable management of natural resources and healthy ecosystems to promote biological diversity, resilience to climate change, economic transformation, and empowerment of local communities.

She further said in line with AWCF ideals of maintaining the conservation and sustainable use of wildlife across the continent through wildlife habitat management, Botswana has come up with initiatives that demonstrates the country’s deliberate plan to promote wildlife economic contribution.

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Among these initiatives are the National Elephant Management Plan which was launched in April 2021 and is being implemented.

Others include guidelines for keeping of game in agricultural holdings, the national anti-poaching strategy and the Leopard Management Plane.

“For the guidelines for keeping of game programme owners of agricultural holdings, and other multiple-use properties that can support small herds of wildlife, are encouraged to keep wildlife, both for consumptive and non-consumptive uses,” said Kereng.

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