Namibia, of course, has a booming ranch hunting industry, plus a growing number of hunts on what are called conservancies. Both type of hunts are unaffected by governmental inaction on concessions.
So, what is the hold-up? No one will say so, but the problem almost certainly continues to be related to BEE, or Black Economic Empowerment. The government, quite simply, wants to find a better way to distribute the economic benefits of hunting to local people. In that connection, the temporary allocation of the hunting rights to two concessions in Western Caprivi this past year produced such good results for the affected Bushmen communities that the process involved may evolve into a new model for the allocation of concessions. If so, we understand, it is entirely possible that concessions will be allocated in time for some 2007 safaris.
The key difference in the Western Caprivi allocation was, it put the local community (not a safari company) in the middle of the cash flow proceeding from hunting. That stands the traditional allocation model on its head and absolutely insured the community a fair break. Indeed, it is a provocative new way to handle hunting rights. Stay tuned for more details. Also, see the report in John J. Jackson's Conservation Force Bulletin this month about the much larger good-news story about Namibia. Some 80 new conservancies are being created there, he writes, comprising 40 million acres,........(continued)