Botswana is inhabited by approximately 130,451 wild African savannah elephants (Loxodonta africana) (Chase et al., 2016) playing significant role in the country’s ecology and wildlife tourism industry (Lamarque et al, 2009; DWNP 2012). However, the range of these elephants have increased significantly in Botswana as they roam around for water; hence they are breaching the protected areas and coming in contact with the human territory (Bale, 2019). Encounter with elephants have caused several deaths and serious injuries each year (Mckenzie et al., 2019). Botswana’s Government claim 8000 elephant-human conflict have occurred with 45 people being killed recently (eNCA, 2019). Moreover, elephants have also affected the livelihood of farmers raiding crops and destroying their farms (eNCA, 2019; Solly, 2019).As a result, recently Botswana government has come to a decision of lifting the 5-year prohibition on elephant hunting (Solly, 2019).
This decision was taken by the new government of Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi overturning the ban imposed by previous government of Ian Khama in 2014 (de Greef and Specia, 2019). This has outraged the conservationists as well as international community, whereas positive feedback of the affected locals was seen (Solly, 2019). Botswana’s low impact tourism was a conservation success story which inspired many countries (Magole and Mogle, 2011); but now the International community has threatened the government that it would boycott Botswana’s tourism if the ban lifting decision is not cancelled (Travel Weekly, 2019). Tourism Operators have also reacted negatively regarding this decision and announced it would destroy the ecotourism and conservation reputation of the country which took 20 years to build up (Travel weekly, 2019). The government stated that hunting would resume in a controlled and ethical way (Frace24, 2019) with only 400 hunting license granted on an annual basis (Travel Weekly, 2019). The government stated that Community based organizations and trusts would be provided with over 50% quota for hunting and it will be operated in only some designated areas (Travel Weekly, 2019).
The following analysis aims to give an overview of the stakeholders so as to help in understanding various complexities that will affect the decision whether the government’s decision to lift ban on elephant hunting remains intact or not.
Creative alternatives and possible win/win solutions
- supporting decision of government to lift ban on elephant hunting
- elephants are their enemies threatening their life and livelihood
- Live a secure life
- Maintain their livelihood
- Farming without fear of animals destroying their farm and raiding crops
- Culling the elephant to reduce its number which will reduce the conflict
- Building the electric fencing in their area to stop the animals from entering their area
- Getting other employment opportunities to decrease their reliance on agriculture for their livelihood
- Getting education on measures to implement during elephant-human encounter
- To protect rights of Botswana citizens to live their life fearlessly
- safety of the Botswana citizen (France24, 2019)
- Reducing the human- wildlife conflict incidents (France24, 2019)
- trophy hunting would provide revenue which would help to fund conservation programmes (Los Angeles Times, 2019) and compensate affected local community (Solly, 2019)
- To increase number of rural voters (de Greef and Specia, 2019) Controlled and ethical hunting to reduce number of elephants such that the number of elephant doesn’t reach too low, without international community protesting it
- Declare a buffer area around the elephant habitat and building electric fencing around the area to stop elephants from conflicting with humans
- Reinstating the ban and involving people in affected area in eco- tourism to solve their financial problems
- Getting fund from international community to compensate affected people and educating them on measures to take during a direct encounter in return of the agreement to ban the hunting
- To protest against decision of government to lift ban on elephant hunting
- Hunting is an out-dated Practice (Burke, 2019)
- protecting rights of elephants to live their life
- hunting would result in the increment of the illegal poaching activities to supply ivory trade with elephant tusks (France24, 2019) Reinstating of the ban on elephant hunting and government finding other solutions like electric fencing to prevent conflict
- setting standard elephant population below which it may not be hunted
- to walk away from negotiation and keep protesting
- To go against Botswana government’s decision to lift ban on elephant hunting
- To protect elephant population residing in Botswana government taking back the decision to lift ban
- Walking away from negotiation and boycotting Botswana from tourism
- Providing funds to the Botswana government to compensate affected communities and educating the communities on measures to take during encounter with elephant so Elephant • Live their life freely • having a habitat with a larger range
- To be provided with ample amount of food and water resources required for them to survive
Reinstall ban on elephant hunting
- Educating affected public on measures to take during encounter with elephant
- Involving affected people in ecotourism so that people would perceive them as a friend rather than an enemy
- Lifting ban on hunting is senseless (Reinstein, 2019)
- International community threatened Botswana to boycott its tourism (Solly, 2019)
- it affects ecotourism reputation of Botswana which would jeopardize livelihood of tourism operators government reinstating hunting ban
- Government provide them other alternatives for their livelihood
- Government make agreement with international community to keep tourism in Botswana unaffected
- To get an interesting headline for their news channel
- to increase value and popularity of their channel conflict lasting longer so that the agreement gets delayed
- provide certain amount to channel so they focus on broadcasting educational content for measures to take during encounter
- Bale, R. (2019). Botswana lifts ban on elephant hunting. [online] Nationalgeographic.com. Available at: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/2019/05/botswana-lifts-ban-on-elephant-hunting/ [Accessed 18 Aug. 2019].
- Burke, J. (2019). Botswana condemned for lifting ban on hunting elephants. [online] the Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/may/23/botswana-lifts-ban-on-hunting-elephants [Accessed 18 Aug. 2019].
- Chase, M., S. Schlossberg, C. Griffin, P. Bouche, S. Djene, P. Elkan, S. Ferrreira, et al. 2016. Continent-wide survey reveals massive decline in African savannah elephants. PeerJ 4: 2354
- de Greef, K. and Specia, M., 2019, Botswana Ends Ban on Elephant Hunting. [online] The Newyork Times. Available at: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/23/world/africa/botswana-elephant-hunting.html [Accessed 17 Aug. 2019].
- DWNP (Department of Wildlife and National Parks). 2012. Aerial census of animals in Botswana. Gabarone: Botswana.
- France 24. (2019). Outrage after Botswana lifts ban on elephant hunting. [online] Available at: https://www.france24.com/en/20190523-botswana-lifts-ban-elephant-hunting-ivory-president-Mokgweeti-Masisi [Accessed 17 Aug. 2019].
- Lamarque, F., J. Anderson, R. Fergusson, M. Lagrange, Y. Osei-Owusu, and L. Bakker. 2009. Human–wildlife conflict in Africa: causes, consequences and management strategies. FAO Forestry Paper 157.http://www.fao. org/docrep/012/i1048e/i1048e00.pdf. Accessed on June 22, 2015.
- Los Angeles Times. (2019). Botswana lifts ban on elephant hunting, raising poaching fears. [online] Available at: https://www.latimes.com/world/la-fg-botswana-elephants-hunting-20190523-story.html [Accessed 18 Aug. 2019].
- Magole, L.I. and Magole, L., 2011. Revisiting Botswana’s high-value, low-volume tourism. Tourism Analysis, 16(2), pp.203-210.
- McKenzie, D., Formanek, I. and Hollingsworth, J. (2019). Botswana lifts ban on elephant hunting. [online] CNN. Available at: https://edition.cnn.com/2019/05/23/africa/botswana-elephant-intl/index.html [Accessed 17 Aug. 2019].
- Reinstein, D. (2019). Will lifting of hunting ban be a self-inflicted wound for Botswana?: Travel Weekly. [online] Travel Weekly. Available at: https://www.travelweekly.com/Middle-East-Africa-Travel/Insights/Will-lifting-of-hunting-ban-be-a-self-inflicted-wound-for-Botswana [Accessed 18 Aug. 2019].
- Solly, M. (2019). Five Things to Know About Botswana’s Decision to Lift Ban on Hunting Elephants. [online] Smithsonian. Available at: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/five-things-know-about-botswanas-decision-lift-ban-hunting-elephants-180972281/ [Accessed 18 Aug. 2019].