Can a global conservation fund bridge the gap between global finance and the realities for indigenous communities?
A Daily Maverick Hunting OP-ED responds to the proposition that foreign aid can be a viable alternative to sustainable use
An Op-Ed response in The Daily Maverick seeks to draw attention to the many problems with the assumptions contained the opinion piece (31 January 2022) “Hunting trophy ban must be backed by a global fund to support communities living with wildlife” by Dr Tamar Ron.
Authored by Lesle Jansen and Gail Thomson of Resource Africa, the Op-Ed points out that:
“Her idea of a “global responsibility fund” is premised on the UK government (and others) being willing to replace the income generated from the sustainable use of wildlife with international aid. Unfortunately, this suggestion comes just a few months after the UK announced major cuts to its foreign aid budget, with African nations and climate-related financing set to receive less funding than in previous years.”
The Op-Ed continues:
“Aside from whether or not the fund will materialise in the context of current UK politics, there are several key concerns with the proposal that merit a response.
Local community representatives were asked about the plan
“Since Dr Ron called for a dialogue with rural communities to find out what kind of funding they would like to see and how such a fund would work, we asked some community representatives from southern African countries what they thought of the plan.
Responders included Maxi Louis from Namibia, “creating dependency is going backwards, and very patronising.” Liberty Chauke of Zimbabwe neatly summed up this position: “This is a huge trap to hoodwink us from our conservation practices. We need to be careful and focused. That funding is not going to last forever. We just need to subscribe to the principles of sustainable utilisation of our wildlife. It is in light of this position that through sustainable utilisation of our natural resources we can self fund our conservation activities, thereby reducing dependencies.”