Watching dolphins, whales, seals and other ocean wildlife is popular with tourists and locals in Namibia. But what do we know about how tourism is affecting them? And what should be done to ensure this activity is as enjoyable in the future as it is now? To learn more about this, we have asked Ruth Leeney from Benguela Research & Training in Walvis Bay to give a talk for TOSCO in Windhoek:
With regards to trophy hunting we try to be realistic, whether we like it or not. As things are in our times, money makes the world go round. But there is not much money to be made from protecting nature. This often means for conservation that “if it pays it stays”, i. e. if something in nature can create economic returns there is a chance for its survival. Hunters often pay a lot of money, thus incorporating the animals they hunt into the economic cycle. If this is ethical and where that money goes to, is a different story.
You might still not meet anybody when exploring Namibia’s wild places, but you might see the signs that somebody has been there before you. Off-road tracks, old fire places or rubbish are visible signs of the increasing number of people traveling for example in the Kaokoveld. To keep our pristine places pristine, information and awareness are the keys. This is why TOSCO Trust has distributed 7500 information brochures to car rental companies where they are available to tourists for free. These brochures compile the most essential “best practices” for visitors (and locals), especially when camping and traveling to remote places on their own: How to stay safe, protect the environment & wildlife and be a welcome visitor even in sensitive areas – leaving them unspoilt and wild as we love them. Why not leave the rubbish at the campsite in Damaraland – a dustbin is provided there after all? Better not, because in remote locations there is no possibility to properly dispose of waste – it will merely be buried somewhere or burnt! So, if possible take it back with you. What is a safe distance desert elephants can be approached without molesting them? The brochures answer such essential questions in 5 languages: English, Dutch, French, German and Italian. These “best practices” are elemental guidelines for keeping our landscape pristine and unspoilt, our wildlife relaxed and alive and the visited people friendly and welcoming. Thanks for your support! Do you love Namibia’s wild places and want to contribute to protecting them? Visit our website for more https://tosco.org/
When the “Hobatere Male” and “Leonardo” were shot for trophy in 2010, one could have thought, it would not happen again. Dr. Stander, from the renowned Desert Lion Conservation Project, had warned then, that the number of adult male lions had been reduced to a critical low. He consequently reasoned that it was not sustainable to continue hunting adult male lions . The responsible authorities then took the right measures. The Ministry of Environment & Tourism (MET) asked the hunting community not to shoot collared lions. Also, MET suspended giving hunting permits for adult male lions for trophy. The sex ratio in the desert lion population is not back to normal yet. And, the Dorob Male was a collared adult lion that had never killed any livestock. At the time of his death he was mating with “Monica”. Therefore, the shooting of the “Dorob Male” in an apparently legal hunt end of September 2013, must be considered as a setback for the conservation of Namibia’s famous desert adapted lions.