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A BAN FOR CONSERVATION OR DESTRUCTION? – Botswana considers lifting elephant ban.

President Mokgeetsi Masisi has rubbed off threat from the West after he lifted the hunting ban which was introduced by former president Ian Khama in 2014 which protected the wildlife from poaching.

In his argument, while addressing the audience at Botswana Democratic Party regional congress, alluded that the country culling of elephants is also a way to deal with human-wildlife conflict to avoid crop destruction and people killed by wildlife.

The number of elephants is estimated to be 130,000 which some argue to be too many for the carrying capacity of the ecosystem. Tourism is Botswana’s second largest forex earner after diamond mining, and the country seem to face sheer backlash from international conservationist.

Central criticism came from animal activist, tourists who are threatening to boycott Botswana tourism industry, but the president insisted that there was a committee which was set to discuss the ban so as to protect civilians and crops from the elephants who have been expanding into human territory.

The reason also as purported is to create an enabling environment for the growth of the safari hunting industry as many hunting safari companies had lost their jobs.

The Botswana president picked the pride of the country by offering his critics wildlife ranging from lions, buffalos, leopard ,cheetahs as well as elephants due to the fact that Botswana is recorded to have the world largest population number of about 1300 000 elephant.

Thus, one will argue that such a move is not worthy for it is the mandate of the government to protect its wildlife and create recreation place to avoid human and wildlife conflict.

A country well known for its biodiversity and popular for wildlife photography and of-late some believe Botswana’s tourism had grown since the introduction of the ban, the up-lifting may have a negative effect on its image on conservation especially from international outcry.

With elections due in October this year, the Botswana government has to balance lifting the hunting ban to win rural votes, against the impact it may have on the Southern African country’s international reputation as a luxury safari destination.

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