"Save the elephants, and then you save the forest - and then you save yourself."
- Mark Shand
In what will undoubtedly be good news to the ears of elephant poachers around the globe, recent reports from Botswana reveal that the country is planning to lift its ban on elephant hunting in the country.
After the ban is lifted, hunting and killing of elephants will be legal in Botswana.
This is coming at a time when Africa is trying to preserve its wildlife from extinction and the fight against wildlife poaching in the continent seem to be taking shape.
It appears the Southern African country is trying to reduce its number of elephants; but is welcoming poaching the only answer to addressing this concern?
According to Wikipedia, Botswana is a landlocked country in Southern Africa which has a landscape defined by the Kalahari Desert and the Okavango Delta. It has become a lush animal habitat during the seasonal floods.
The massive Central Kalahari Game Reserve, with its fossilized river valleys and undulating grasslands, is home to numerous animals including giraffes, cheetahs, hyenas and wild dogs.
Surprisingly, Angola, Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, which together host the largest population of elephants in Africa, have supported the decision by the Botswana government and thrown their weight behind the country’s plan to lift the ban on elephant hunting.
In a joint communiqué released Wednesday following a Kavango-Zambezi Trans-frontier Conservation Area (KAZA-TFCA) meeting in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, the four countries said they support Botswana's new policies and programs on elephant population management.
The communiqué signed by environment ministers from the countries after the meeting said they recognize that the KAZA-TFCA is inhabited by humans.
Botswana's environment minister, Kitso Mokaila has appreciated the support from neighboring Angola, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
According to Mokaila, residents in northwestern Botswana have been reeling from the human-wildlife conflict for years now.
"Our people staying in the pristine Chobe National Park and surrounding villages were no longer harvesting reeds and sedges while growing of crops was being destroyed by the roaming elephants," he said.
It is estimated that over 250,000 elephants are hosted by KAZA-TFCA members.
A ministerial committee, set up by President of Botswana Mokgweetsi Masisi last year, recently submitted a report recommending the lifting of the hunting ban introduced in 2014 to deal with elephant overpopulation.
The plan to lift the ban has received huge criticism from environmentalists and international critics who have termed the plan a "blood law."
What is your candid opinion on the matter?
Header Image Credit: Brand South Africa