International Conference for Wildlife Management

Collage of many images at 45 degrees.

International Conference for Wildlife Management

On 23 May 2022, Resource Africa hosted the first International Conference for Wildlife Management held in Dortmund, Germany. The theme of the conference was Africa: Conservation, Human Rights and Sustainable Use. 

Leslé Jansen, CEO of Resource Africa South Africa, introduced the topic with a keynote address. Eight expert panellists from five countries took part in a moderated discussion focusing on a topic that affects European and African nations – trophy hunting. Five members of the Dortmund City Council, representing three German political parties, attended the event as invited guests and were encouraged to pose questions to the panel. 

Three panellists represented the Community Leaders Network of Southern Africa, which is a collaborative group of community leaders from nine southern African countries who are closely involved with community-based conservation in the region. Dr Rodgers Lubilo of Zambia and Siyoka Simasiku of Botswana participated online, while Maxi Pia Louis of Namibia attended the event in person. 

Other experts attending in person were Gail Thomson representing the Namibian Chamber of Environment, Stefan Michel representing Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union Germany, and Professor Sven Herzog of the University of Dresden. Prof Amy Dickman (University of Oxford) and Dr Dilys Roe (IUCN Sustainable Livelihoods Specialist Group) joined online from the United Kingdom. 

Two professional moderators – Constanze Abratzky and Stefan Robiné – guided the discussion by reading out statements, posing questions and playing videos from various sources regarding the topic. Several Dortmund City Council members, people from the live audience and online attendees posed their own questions throughout the event. These questions covered the key issues that are often debated around trophy hunting – wildlife conservation, economic benefits, animal welfare, ethics and colonialism. 

Some of the key messages coming from this event were:

  1. There is a need for more dialogue between Africans and Europeans about this topic to foster greater mutual understanding.
  2. This topic is ultimately about the rights of African communities to their resources, and they ask for greater respect and understanding from European decision-makers when considering this matter.
  3. Despite the on-going debate about trophy hunting, it is not a key threat to any species and can reduce much greater threats to biodiversity such as habitat destruction and poaching.
  4. African and European nations should be seen as equal partners in biodiversity conservation that can work together on policies that are mutually beneficial and respectful of differing points of view.

Watch some of the key Q&A snippets from the conference here:
Watch the whole conference in English or German

Dortmund Conference Keynote Address
Is Trophy Hunting part of Colonialism?
Does trophy hunting really work in Africa?
Wildlife management in Europe and Africa
Deer culling in Germany vs. Living with Elephants in Botswana
Do Africans need rich foreign hunters in order to manage their wildlife?
Do local communities really benefit from trophy hunting?
Final statements by Community Leaders Network of Southern Africa