- they decry getting cheated by hunting companies
Community Based Organisations (CBOs) in Ngamiland have called on for government to implement a standard hunting quota pricing for controlled hunting areas in order to regulate and ensure that they are sold at a fair price. This they added will also ensure that CBOs, commonly referred to as community trusts are not cheated of their quotas by hunting companies.
The call, which was a consensus by all trusts, was made by various CBOs at a two-day Community Based Natural Resources Management (CBNRM) forum held in Maun this week which intended to influence government policy relating to CBNRM and regulating their district strategy.
“If animals such as elephants have a standard price then operators will not have any choice than buy at that fixed and recommended price which does not rob off CBOs,” advised CBNRM Projects Officer for Ngamiland Council of Non-Governmental Organisation (NCONGO), Ditiro Mmereki who was speaking on behalf of the CBOs.
Mmereki indicated that CBOs have decried that some operators conspire with government officials who influence quota pricing and are able to get the pricing in their favour.
“CBOs have stated that if quotas are sold at a lower price, communities do not benefit fully, which then defeats the whole concept of CBNRM since it will now be more beneficial to that particular hunting operator,” Mmereki noted.
He added that the hunting system has become corrupt to an extent that operators give bribe to some community leaders, including some trust members who may influence the pricing of the quota in their favour.
Some CBOs, Mmereki revealed sells their elephants in desperation hence the low prices they get. He added that operators also on the other hand make it hard for the communities by persuasively negotiating for even lower prices.
According to him, CBOs have also decried dictation by operators complaining that most operators tend to make a lower offer and if not agreed to they then threaten to leave and hunt at other concessions which sell their wildlife for them at a lower price.
In his response, Department of Wildlife and National Parks (DWNP) official, Mogotsi Modise who is also the secretary for the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) said they have noted the suggestions made by the CBOs.
He has however advised them to seek guidance from relevant stakeholders whenever they are dealing with operators, especially on issues of pricing. Modise has further urged CBOs to report any suspected corrupt dealings between operators and government officials.