The South African government has formed an alliance with organisations which kill wildlife for gain to the exclusion of those who wish to protect it. By JANINE AVERY.
In 2005 the Department of Environmental Affairs set up the Consultative Wildlife Forum as a way, it said at the time, to engage with private entities about wildlife policy, the prime objective being sustainable use. The composition of the forum - which excluded conservation NGOs and included a raft of hunters, crocodile farmers, bow hunters, taxidermists, sports anglers and wing hunters - gave lie to any impartiality.
Today South Africa's little-known Consultative Wildlife Forum provides a platform for hunters and those with vested wildlife consumptive interests to shape government wildlife policy. It's a space only a privileged few have access to and NGOs whose focus falls outside the interest of wildlife producing and hunting are denied access. It's a body you didn't even know existed - until now.
According to a report by Dhoya Snijders, the forum was set up on the recommendation by three panels of experts who were commissioned by the then Minister of Environmental Affairs, Marthinus van Schalkwyk, to study the sector of wildlife utilisation, hunting and ranching. The...